MTSU Announces 2022-23 Distinguished Alumni


Alumni Association will recognize recipients at Homecoming Oct. 14-15

Middle Tennessee State University is again recognizing outstanding alumni who represent excellence and distinction through their professional careers, loyal support and service to the broader community.

From 1960 to present, the MTSU Alumni Association has recognized accomplished alumni with the association’s highest honor: the Distinguished Alumni Award.

This year’s recipient is Katie Vance (Class of 2005) of Nashville, Tennessee. She is the partner and chief creative officer of Powell Architecture + Building Studio, an award-winning architecture, interior and construction firm in Nashville.

This year’s Young Alumni Achievement Award, given to a graduate age 35 or younger making a positive impact in the world, goes to Tay Keith(Class of 2018) of Memphis, Tennessee. The Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter already boasts an impressive roster of music collaborations that includes Drake, Travis Scott, Beyonce, DJ Khaled and more.

For the ninth consecutive year, True Blue Citations of Distinction are being awarded. Categories include one for Military Service. This year’s honorees feature:

  • Achievement in Education (MTSU faculty) —Alanna Vaught (Class of 2003), of Auburntown, Tennessee, a School of Agriculture faculty member instrumental in starting a new Master of Education in Agricultural Education Leadership program.
  • Achievement in Education (non-MTSU faculty) — Jackie Morgan (Class of 2008), of Rockvale, Tennessee, the outreach senior adviser at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta-Nashville branch and recognized as an established communicator and proven leader in economic and financial education strategy, policy, development and training.
  • Service to University —Ed Arning (Class of 1978), of Murfreesboro, former MTSU sports information director who went into private industry before returning to the university as director of two major project areas within the Division of Marketing and Communications.
  • Service to Community —Elveta Cooper (Classes of 1996 and 2000), of Nolensville, Tennessee, UPS area human resources manager who has been involved in numerous community organizations.
  • MilitaryService  — Brig. Gen. Robert Powell (Class of 1991), of Summerville, South Carolina, a cyber security expert in the U.S. Army, the first Army Reserves cyber general and the 17th general officer in the 50-plus year history of the MTSU ROTC program.

“The Alumni Association is excited to recognize the achievements of seven talented alumni,” said Ginger Freeman, Office of Alumni Relations director. “Their accomplishments show the breadth of success of our graduates, and we look forward to honoring and celebrating them as part of this year’s homecoming festivities.

“The addition of the military award in 2021 expanded our opportunity to recognize those that have served or are currently serving our country.”

The Alumni Association will recognize them at several events during MTSU Homecoming Oct. 14-15.

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