Brief History

  • Founded in 1911 as one of three state normal schools for teacher training.
  • Became State Teachers College in 1925 and Bachelor of Science degree was offered.
  • In 1936, Bachelor of Arts was added.
  • Became State College in 1943. Graduate school added in 1951. Advanced to university status in 1965.
  • MTSU is a Tennessee Board of Regents Institution.
  • Detailed history (pdf)


  • 137 permanent buildings (not including rentals, farm buildings, airport buildings, foundation buildings, farm manager home, and housing home.)
  • 4.2 Million square feet
  • 515 acres
  • one mile from the geographic center of Tennessee



Mark Byrnes, Ph.D., Interim University Provost

Enrollment (Fall 2011)

  • 26,442

Famous Alumni

  • Albert Gore, Sr. ('32) - U.S. Senator (1953-1971)
  • James M. Buchanan, Ph.D. ('40) - 1986 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences
  • Bill Boner ('67) - Mayor of Nashville (1987-1991) and U.S. Congressman (1979-1987)
  • George S. Clinton ('69) - Hollywood composer (Austin Powers trilogy)
  • Terry Weeks ('72, '74) - National Teacher of the Year, 1988 (Current MTSU faculty)
  • Kelly Holcomb ('94) - 15-year NFL veteran quarterback
  • Mardy Scales ('03) - United States sprinter
  • Ashley Eicher ('04) - Miss Tennessee 2004
  • Lauren Grissom ('06) - Miss Tennessee USA 2006
  • Hillary Scott ('06) - Grammy winning singer/songwriter, Lady Antebellum
  • Amber Holt ('08) - Women's National Basketball Association forward
  • Erik Walden ('08) - NFL linebacker (2011 Super Bowl Champions Green Bay Packers)

Special Programs

Centers of Excellence:

  • Center of Historic Preservation
  • Center for Popular Music

Nine Chairs of Excellence (funded with a mix of state and private monies to bring leaders in their fields to MTSU):

  • The Jennings Jones Chair in Free Enterprise
    James E. Burton, dean, College of Business
  • The Jennings Jones Chair in Urban and Regional Planning
    James E. Burton, dean, College of Business
  • The John Seigenthaler Chair in First Amendment Studies
    Wendell Rawls, director, College of Media and Entertainment
  • The Dr. Carl Adams Chair in HealthCare Services
    M. Jo Edwards, chairholder
  • The National HealthCare Chair in Nursing
    Karen Ward, interim director, School of Nursing
  • The Robert E. and Georgianna West Russell Chair in Manufacturing Excellence
    Charles H. Perry, chairholder, Department of Engineering Technology
  • The Katherine Davis Murfree Chair in Dyslexic Studies
    Lana Seivers, dean, College of Education
  • John C. Miller Chair in Equine Reproductive Physiology
    Warren Gill, Director, School of Agriculture
  • Mary E. Miller Chair in Equine Health
    Warren Gill, Director, School of Agriculture

Chairs endowed by the MTSU Foundation:

  • Wright Travel Chair in Entrepreneurship
  • Tommy Martin Chair of Insurance
    Kenneth W. Hollman, chairholder
  • Jack Weatherford Chair of Finance
    William F. Ford, chairholder




  • Member of Conference USA
  • Chris Massaro, Athletic Director
  • Mark Owens, Athletic Media Relations
  • Diane Turnham, Senior Women's Administrator
  • Rick Stockstill , Football
  • Kermit Davis, Men's Basketball
  • Rick Insell , Women's Basketball
  • Matt Peck, Head Coach Volleyball
  • Steve Peterson, Baseball
  • Dean Hayes, Track
  • Whit Turnbow, Men's Golf
  • Chris Adams, Women's Golf
  • Jimmy Borendame, Men's Tennis
  • Melissa Schaub , Women's Tennis
  • Aston Rhoden, Women's Soccer
  • Sue Nevar, Head Coach Softball

Student Life

  • Dr. Debra Sells., Vice President for Student Affairs and Vice Provost for Enrollment and Academic Services
  • Coby Sherlock, SGA president


  • Alan Thomas, Senior Vice President


Media Contacts

  • Jimmy Hart, director, News & Media Relations
  • Gina Fann, editor, The Record
  • Randy Weiler, The Alumni Record
  • Gina Logue, Media Representative
  • News and Media Relations, (615) 898-2919