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Tennessee Association of Special Programs Organization and History

In The Beginning . . .
From 1965 through 1969, and prior to the organization of the Tennessee Association of Special Programs (TASP), all TRiO programs were administered by the US Office of Education. With the election of President Richard M. Nixon, the administration of TRiO programs was divided into ten geographic regions of the country. Tennessee was a part of Region IV which later became the Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (SAEOPP) in 1977. It was during the 10-region format in 1973, that the Tennessee Association of Special Programs followed other southern states in organizing its 31 TRiO Programs.

TASP Founding Officers were:
  • Clara D. Hewitt, President, Lane College
  • William Matthew Jackson, Vice-President, Girls Club of Memphis
  • Joy Rogers Stout, Secretary, Girls Club of Memphis
  • Sylvester Dunn, Treasurer, Fisk University
The state of Tennessee like other states in the Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (SAEOPP) region was still faced with the question of how it was going to address the barriers to postsecondary education opportunity for its low-income, first generation students, as mandated by the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 which subsequently became a part of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
Tennessee, through Fisk University and Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, received two of the seventeen pilot Upward Bound Programs in 1965. A decade later, Tennessee had 31 TRiO Programs at the following 21 colleges, universities and agencies:
  1. Austin Peay State University, SSS, Jean Lewis, Director
  2. Douglas Cherokee Economic Authority, Inc., EOC, Mazie Steadman, Asst. Dir.
  3. East Tennessee State University, SSS, Veterans UB, Jack Garland, Director
  4. Fisk University, UB, SSS, UB CETA, Sylvester Dunn, Director
  5. Girls Club of Memphis, Inc., ETS, William Matthew Jackson, Director
  6. Knoxville College, SSS, UB, Cassandra Ghosten, Director
  7. Lane College, UB, SSS, Clara D. Hewitt, Director
  8. Lee College, SSS, Lucille Walker, Director
  9. LeMoyne-Owen College, UB, SSS, Rita Teal, Director
  10. Lincoln Memorial University, UB, SSS, Bonnie Buckland, Director
  11. McKenzie College, SSS, Jay Menuskin, Director
  12. Nashville State Technical Institute, SSS, Beverly Collins, Director
  13. Shelby State Community College, SSS, Marsha Jenkins, Director
  14. Tennessee State University, UB, SSS, Mary Love, Director
  15. Tennessee Technology University, UB, Steve Coble, Director
  16. Tusculum College, UB, TS, Julia Tower, Director
  17. UT Chattanooga, UB, SSS, Paul Beasley, Director
  18. UT Knoxville, SSS, Educational Advancement Program, James Caraway, Dir.
  19. UT Knoxville, TS, Ernest Brewer, Director
  20. UT Space Institute, SSS, Firouz Shahrokhi, Director
  21. Walter State Community College, SSS, Frank Skinnell, Director
Other Early Non-elected Players in the Developmental History of TASP: In Alphabetical Order
  • Hope Abergast
  • O'Leary Ankton
  • Bruce Batts
  • Paul Beasley
  • Ernest Brewer
  • Gail Burleson
  • Jim Caraway
  • Linda Carlton
  • Rudolph Christian
  • Arthur Davis
  • Carolyn Hague
  • Mae Harris
  • Richard Held
  • Anita Hodges
  • Dorothy Howard
  • Rosa Hudson
  • Shelia Kelly
  • Sherri Lanier
  • Nancy Ledet
  • James Lefler
  • Adrienne Long
  • Mary Love
  • Allison Martin
  • Gerald Mason
  • Veda Mays
  • Jay Menuskin
  • Ben Pugh
  • Julia Tower
Historical Highlights of Tennessee/TASP
  1. The first constitution was adopted in 1973 with revisions in 1986, 1990, 1993 and 1996.
  2. The TASP organization was incorporated by the state of Tennessee in 1986 and received tax exempt status in 1996.
  3. The TASP Office of treasurer has been bonded since 1980.
  4. In 1973, membership dues were set at $5.00 and the conference registration fee was $10.00
  5. TASP publishes a directory, a quarterly newsletter and maintains the following web address: http://www.tn-tasp.org/
  6. The Tennessee Association has held joint conferences on alternate years with the state of Kentucky since 1990.
  7. TASP members fully participate in the annual Fair Share drive which supports the Council for Opportunity in Education.
  8. Tennessee received the first DOE Training Grant for the SAEOPP Region in 1985 under the leadership of William Matthew Jackson.
  9. TASP members hold their elections by mail.
  10. On December 11, 1984, Clara D. Hewitt presented the initial SAEOPP Archives Collection to the Robert W. Woodruff Library, Clark Atlanta University. Dr. Wanda Bigham was SAEOPP's President and Dr. Ben McCune was Vice-President.
  11. Michael Mercer, Lane College Upward Bound, 1997, Sharon Lynette Bush, Girls Club of Memphis, 1986, and Winston Oxendine, Tusculum College have been cited as SAEOPP and COE Achievers respectively.
  12. Clara Hewitt and Deborah Northcross received the "Honors of the Association" in 2002 and William Matthew and Jeanie Stokes received the "Honors of the Executive Committee". Hewitt also received the Walter O. Mason Award from COE in 1994 and had the SAEOPP Archives named in her honor in 2002.
  13. Dr. Ernest Brewer served as Editor of the SAEOPP Journal from 1990 to 2002
  14. The following Tennesseeans have held elective offices and/or served as committee chairs of the SAEOPP and COE organizations: Deborah Northcross, Jeannie Stokes, Clara Hewitt, Ronnie Gross, Vicky Johnson-Warren, Mae Harris, Booker Scruggs, William M. Jackson, Drew Ragan, and Ronald McFadden.
  15. In 1977, Clara Hewitt was one of three SAEOPPians (Irma Burks-Daily and Ben McCune) who attended the organizational meeting of the National Council for Educational Opportunity Associations in New Orleans, Louisiana under the leadership of Dr. Arnold Mitchem. NCEOA has been re-named the Council for Opportunity in Education. Hewitt is also a 1977 SAEOPP founder.
  16. Julia Tower, former Project Director at Tusculum College, Greenville, Tennessee is now Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, DC.
  17. Richard Held, Tusculum College and Angela Neal, Austin Peay State University, (1994-95) have served as TRiO Desk students for the Council of Opportunity in Education National Office.
  18. TASP Project Directors have continuously embraced National TRiO Day.
  19. Since its inception, Tennessee has always had representation at the Annual Policy Seminar. In 1997, Attorney Nathan Pride accompanied the Tennessee delegation to visit Tennessee's Congressmen as a TRiO alumni.
Programs That Directly Involve Tennessee TRiO Students
  • Annual Statewide Scholars Bowl
  • Merit Awards for TRiO Students
  • TRiO Desk Students
  • McNair Scholars Conference
  • UB Talent Shows
  • TRiO Day
  • TRiO Student Exchange
  • UB Sports Classic
  • UB Science Fair
  • Summer Olympics
  • Representation at the Annual Policy Seminars
Past TASP Officers and Meeting Dates
President: Clara D. Hewitt
Vice-President: William M. Jackson
Secretary Joy Rogers Stout
Treasurer Sylvester Dunn

President: William Matthew Jackson
Vice-President: Harry McKeldin
Secretary: Joy Rogers Stout
Treasurer: Sylvester Dunn

President: Harry McKeldin
Vice-President: Deborah Northcross
Secretary: Joy Rogers Stout
Treasurer: William Howard
TASP 1977-1978 Fall Meetings:
November 15, 1977 - Nashville, TN
October 23-24,1978 - Pickwick Landing State Park - Pickwick, TN
Theme: "Counseling, Instruction, Tutoring: Encounters of the Best Kind"

President: Deborah Northcross
Vice-President: Sharon Routson/Lonnie Cane
Secretary: Anna Morrison
Treasurer: William Howard

President: Margo Deschenes
Vice-President: William Howard
Secretary: Anna Morrison
Treasurer: Sylvester Dunn

President: William Howard
Vice-President: Steve Coble
Secretary: Anna Morrison
Treasurer: Sylvester Dunn
TASP 1981-182 Fall Meetings
October 1-2, 1981 Holiday Inn -Briley Parkway - Nashville, TN
Theme: "Statewide Strategies For Continued Support of Special Programs"
October 1982-Clement Auditorium-Nashville State Tech. Institute-Nashville, TN

President: Jack Garland
Vice-President: Clara D. Hewitt
Secretary: Anna Morrison
Treasurer: Sylvester Dunn
TASP Fall Meeting
October 14, 1983 - Jubilee Hall - Fisk University - Nashville, TN

President: Clara D. Hewitt
Vice-President: Rita Jackson-Teal
Secretary: Anna Morrison
Treasurer: Bernice Giles
TASP 1984-1985 Fall Meeting
October 19, 1984 - Tennessee State University - Nashville, TN
October 18, 1985 - Nashville State Tech. Institute - Nashville, TN

President: Rita Jackson-Teal
Vice-President: James Lefler
Secretary: Anna Morrison
Treasurer: Bernice Giles
TASP Fall Meeting
October 17, 1986 - Downtown Campus - Tennessee State University
Nashville, TN
Theme: "Equality and Excellence: Building a Tradition"

President: Paul Beasley
Vice-President: Allison Martin/Linda Carlton
Secretary: Anna Morrison
Treasurer: Bernice Giles
TASP 1987-1988 Fall Meetings
October 23, 1987 - Learning Resource Center - Tennessee State University Nashville, TN
October 21, 1988 - Fisk University - Nashville, TN

President: Ronald McFadden
Vice-President: Veda Mays
Secretary: Helen McGinty
Treasurer: Allison Martin/Carol Childress
TASP 1990-1991 Fall Meetings
October 24-26, 1990 - Maxwell House Hotel - Nashville, TN
Theme: "TRiO Self Development Helping To Build The Community "
October 16-18, 1991 - Holiday Inn - Gatlinburg, TN
Theme: "Leadership For The Twenty First Century"

President: Booker T. Scruggs
Vice-President: T. Drew Ragan
Secretary: Helen McGinty
Treasurer: Carol Childress
TASP 1992-1993 Fall Meetings
October 14-16, 1992 - Raddison Hotel - Memphis, TN
Theme: "REAUTHORIZATION: Where Do We Go From Here?"
October 27-29, 1993 Doubletree Hotel Nashville, TN
Theme: "A New Way, A New Day (TASP Launch 2000)"

President: T. Drew Ragan
Vice-President: Mae Harris
Secretary: Johnnie Crawford
Treasurer: Ronnie Gross
TASP Fall Meeting
November 2-4, 1994 - Seelbach Hotel - Louisville, KY
Theme: " Building Bridges: TRiO Partnership for the 21st Century"

President: June Chinn-Jones/Jeanne Stokes
Vice-President: Jeanne Stokes
Secretary: Johnnie Crawford
Treasurer: Ronnie Gross
TASP Fall Meeting
October 31-November 2, 1995 - Marriott Marquis Hotel - Chattanooga, TN
Theme: "Building Bridges: TRiO Partnerships for the 21st Century Part II"

President: Jeanne Stokes
Vice-President: Booker Scruggs
Secretary: Ruby Tucker
Treasurer: Ronnie Gross

President: Eddi Marlowe
Vice-President: Celeste Brooks
Secretary: Vicky Waldroupe
Treasurer: David Wilhoit
TASP Fall Meeting
October 22-24, 1997 - Holiday Inn - Louisville, KY
November 4-6, 1998 - Hyatt Regency - Knoxville, TN
Theme: "Reaffirming TRiO's Mission In A Climate of Change"

President: Ronnie Gross
Vice-President: Vicky Waldroupe
Secretary: Norma Alexander
Treasurer: David Wilhoit
TASP Fall Meeting
October 21-23, 1999 - Embassy Suites - Covington, KY

President: Vicky Johnson-Warren
Vice-President: David Wilhoit
Secretary: Susan Graves
Treasurer: Lamont Douglas

President: David Wilhoit
Vice-President: Susan Graves/Celeste Brooks
Secretary: Celeste Crowe
Treasurer: Terri Hall

President: Patricia Porter/Florence Hall
Vice-President: Florence Hall/Mary Love
Secretary: Michelle Hurley
Treasurer: Terri Hall

President: Florence Hall/Stephen Hendrix
Vice-President: Stephen Hendrix/Katie Duvall
Secretary: Dr. Ron McFadden
Treasurer: Rekeshiam Hudson