MTSU Kicks Off National Women’s History Month with Ceremony Honoring Maya Angelou

Students and faculty prepare to release balloons representing forgiveness on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. The balloon release was part of the kick off event for National Women's Month. (MTSU Sidelines/Samantha Hearn)

Middle Tennessee State University kicked off it’s celebration of National Women’s Month with a ceremony honoring poet Maya Angelou on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 in the James E. Walker Library.

The ceremony included students reciting Angelou’s poetry, a musical tribute by jazz vocalist Connye Florance, a performance by the MTSU Generation of Praise Choir and a balloon release for audience members to participate.

A crowd of about 40 people were at the event. Professors and students who were on the second, third and fourth floors of the library came to the ledges to listen to the singers and speakers.

Poems read include “Phenomenal Woman,” “I Know Why Caged Birds Sing,” “From the Pulse of the Morning” and “Still I Rise,” the latter being the inspiration behind the balloon release.

The balloon release was to signify forgiveness, a theme found in many of Angelou’s poems. Bea Perdue of the College of Behavioral & Health Sciences invited audience members to write the name of someone who they couldn’t forgive on a provided sheet of paper, tie it to a white balloon and let it go.

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