My daily post theme for 2017 is on Colleges and Universities.
The plan for starting my blog back in 2014 was at the urging of fellow coaching colleagues to share posts on leadership and/or motivation. Somehow that idea got derailed and turned into daily posts on one theme for an entire year.
In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and for 2017 I will focus on “Colleges and Universities”.
I have been associated with colleges since I was 18 and I love them. I have coached/worked at four different universities and in my professional and personal travels visited 100’s more. Each college has something in its history that I want to share that to me make it unique or personal.
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Name of University: Arkansas State University
Location: Jonesboro AR
Wednesday August 16, 2017 marked the 40th anniversary of Elvis Pressley death. The date sticks with me because it was my first day of work at UNC Pembroke as an Assistant Basketball Coach/Lecturer. My first day on campus I met a lot of new people and almost all the women employees I interacted with were wiping away tears because the King was dead at 42. He was truly the King.
Elvis did not attend college but in 1960 he was inducted into the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Arkansas State College. I found a great story online about the TKE Fraternity and the notoriety it achieved in 1960 due to chapter president Rick Husky.
Today Arkansas State is called Arkansas State University and has an enrollment of 21,000 students with 14,000 being on the Jonesboro campus.
The TKE fraternity at Arkansas State had grabbed some positive headlines in 1960 when Husky, a journalism student from Wynne, AR succeeded in getting Ronald Reagan the host of the TV show General Electric Theater (1953-1962) to drop by the TKE fraternity house during his visit to Jonesboro at the local GE plant.
Emboldened by the publicity Reagan’s visit got, Rick Husky dreamed up an idea to initiate someone famous as an honorary member. Elvis Presley was the unanimous choice, but no one believed Husky could pull it off.
Rising to the challenge, Husky came up with the idea of presenting the 25 year old Elvis with a Man of the Year Award for his considerable contributions to charity.
Presley had recently been discharged from the military and had just arrived back in Memphis from Germany. Husky got the name of Elvis’ secretary from a fan magazine and sent a letter to Elvis at Graceland in care of the secretary notifying him that TKE wished to present him with his award.
But even Rich Husky wasn’t prepared for what followed when the world’s biggest entertainer Elvis Pressley actually accepted their invitation to become an honorary TKE brother. He shocked them by saying yes.
On October 24, 1960 Husky and TKE members Don DeArmen of Corning and Jeff Sheraer of Patterson, Mo., along with faculty member and fraternity advisor Robert Howe and photographer Charles Crowe, set out for Graceland on Oct. 24, 1960 in Husky’s 1956 pink and white Ford for their meeting with Elvis.
If you want to read the complete recount of Elvis’s Man of the Year Award from Arkansas State go to the link below: