Ivanetta Davis, the second first lady of Tennessee State University, stood on the porch of the former president’s residence at the center of campus and cut a birthday cake commemorating the school’s 100th year on Tuesday morning.
TSU’s Aristocrat of Bands blasted out Stevie Wonder’s version of “Happy Birthday.” Davis, the wife of TSU’s second president Walter Davis, also turns 100 this year.
The cake-cutting capped a ceremony that linked TSU’s past 100 years to its present and future.
Mayor Karl Dean, Rep. Brenda Gilmore, Sen. Thelma Harper and several TSU officials spoke at the ceremony.
Harper’s short speech turned toward the future, addressing the school’s current search for a new president.
“We will have a TSU president,” Harper said. “Don’t be skeptical. ... we’re going to be all right y’all.”
Gilmore read a proclamation signed by Gov. Bill Haslam and passed by the General Assembly that recognized TSU’s contributions to the state.
All of the dignitaries helped spread dirt around an oak tree that was planted in honor of the centennial.
Hundreds of people, including students, alumni and faculty members were on hand for the ceremony.