August 2015 ocean beat

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Ocean Beat AUGUST 2015

The Official Publication of the Texas Southern University Ocean of Soul Alumni Chapter

Texas Southern University Ocean of Soul Alumni Chapter Officers Garnet Foster President Joselyn Coats V. P. of Membership Kevin Jernigan Treasurer Pamela Scott Recording Secretary Cynthia Gardner Corresponding Secretary Leonard Faniuel Sergeant At Arms Donald Greer Parliamentarian Khary Boykins Financial Secretary Donald Black Communications

Alumni Announcements Band Dinner & Refreshments The Ocean of Soul Alumni Chapter is looking for volunteers to provide donations to help feed the incoming freshmen, Saturday, August 15 after the evening rehearsal. The Freshmen arrive on Friday, August 14, however, the University Cafeteria will not be available until Sunday so we are asking Ocean Alumni for assistance with this matter. Please contact Garnet Foster at for the list of items needed for the dinner.

Meeting Time and Date Football season is approaching and the Alumni Chapter meetings, currently scheduled for Saturday evenings, will conflict with TSU Football. The Alumni Chapter is looking into other options, such as moving the Alumni meeting to Saturdays mornings or to a completely different day and time. Please send your suggestions to

Ocean T-Shirt Clearance Sale

If you want to submit information to the TSUOOSAC Newsletter, please email information to: or mail to: Texas Southern University National Alumni Association Ocean of Soul Alumni Chapter P.O. Box 88155 Houston , Texas 77288

The Ocean of Soul Alumni Chapter is having a clearance sale of last year’s Homecoming Shirt. All sizes are available except Large. Contact for more information Shirts are $7($5 for paid members)

Support The Ronald B. Thornton Scholarship Mr. Ronald B. Thornton served as an Assistant Director of the Forest Brook Senior High School Marching Jaguar Band and the Texas Southern University “Ocean of Soul� Marching Band. Mr. Thornton would later became the Head Band Director of the Mighty Willowridge Eagle Band from 1988 -2009. Mr. Thornton was a member of numerous organizations, some of which include: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity, Pershing Rifles Military Fraternity, Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity, Tau Beta Sigma Band Sorority Honorary Member, Professional Musician Local 65, Texas Black Music Educators - Vice President, Texas Bandmasters Association, National Association of College Band Directors, Texas Music Educators Association, International Association of Jazz Educators, Texas Exes & The College of Education-The University of Texas. In his memory, the Texas Southern University National Alumni Association Ocean of Soul Alumni Chapter established the Ronald B. Thornton Scholarship Foundation. The recipients shall be university band students who have exemplified outstanding leadership as band members as well as in the classroom. Please Support the Ronald B. Thornton Scholarship Fund


“ We’ve aligned our academic programs with the workforce needs of Houston.” Texas Southern University President John Rudley

TSU President prepares students for Houston's thriving industries Texas Southern University suffered a nearly 10 percent enrollment slump between 2012 and 2013 but bounced back in 2014, replacing almost 60 percent of the student population it lost. The president of the third-largest public HBCU, or Historically Black College and University, in the U.S., John Rudley has been at the helm for seven years, coming from various executive positions at University of Houston. Rudley has implemented programs at TSU to prepare students for careers in Houston’s most thriving industries. Tell me about the enrollment slump. Well, you have to go back to 2011 to explain the dip. In 2011, the federal government changed the Pell Grant rules, and students who were on a nine-year graduation schedule had their schedule cut back to a six-year schedule. The rule changed in one swoop. The government didn’t give the students a chance or a warning. We had 762 students who were caught in that Pell Grant ineligibility situation — 78 percent of whom were African-American. The average age was 34, 78 percent of those students were female, the average income expectancy was $0, the average GPA was about a 2.5 and 99.9 percent of those students had enrolled in developmental courses. We had some students who were immediately affected and some who weren’t affected until the next year. What is the university doing to help students who lost funding from their Pell Grants? When you’re dealing with a university like TSU, the answer to your question is that we weren’t able to overcome that. The endowment at TSU is around $40 million, while the endowment at University of Houston is around $600 million or $800 million. Rice University’s endowment is about $7 billion. If you look at endowments around the country, the average endowment for a (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) is $29 million. So that speaks to the fact that when we have these instances occur with the poorest of people, there are no endowments that are significantly available for HBCUs. And in TSU’s case, we certainly didn’t have the ability, with only a $40 million endowment, to help all of the students. So you lose them. How can you make significant change with such a low endowment? Part of my strategy at TSU is to raise our endowment to $100 million. I think it’s doable, especially in the fourth largest city in the nation, where you have these big corporations that provide resources for Rice University or Texas A&M University. State universities have been able to tap into those (corporate) resources, but Texas Southern hasn’t been able to. Having these programs provides (our way) into the corporate world, since we’ll be producing their workforce in the future. So maybe as we go forward with a capital campaign, we’ll be knocking on some of those doors to improve the size of our endowment Why should companies in Houston be interested in TSU graduates? You’ve got to understand that TSU probably has three types of students: very good students, students who maybe aren’t so good and students that we call at-risk. And that’s because of the high schools they come from. But now, if you look at the feeder high schools for TSU, we have a mixture, so we’re now pulling kids from the higher (performing) high schools, and we’ve got better students. Our average freshman GPA was about 2.8 or 2.9 for the last two years. So the students who are coming to us now are better prepared. And those students are going into the areas that businesses want. What upgrades or curriculum changes do you have planned? We’ve upgraded our civil engineering technology program to a bachelor of science in civil engineering (which will be available in August). We’ve upgraded the computer and electrical technology degrees to a bachelor of science in computer and electrical engineering (set to take effect in December). And we’re also going to (apply for funding from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board) for a petroleum engineering degree in 18 months. So TSU’s programs are directly aligned with the workforce requirements in Houston. Maritime transportation is an area of study that’s a direct result of our relationship with the Houston Port Authority. The port authority and TSU partnered and created the maritime transportation and safety degree program …. Is TSU interested in other professional partnerships? Across the engineering program, we’re going to try and have a direct relationship with some of the oil companies in Houston – and not just oil companies, but engineering firms in general. I would like to see us get into drones, because if you look at where the world’s going with drones, we need to have a partnership with companies that are training people to be able to use the technology, especially when you start to think about companies delivering packages using drones. So we’ve got some new opportunities where we can develop new partnerships. We’re actually looking at any partnerships we can get. Texas Southern is located right next to UH, a much larger and much more recognizable university. How do you attract students away from UH? We have a special tradition to try to deal with kids of color who are getting substandard education. UH and the University of Texas are getting kids who come from parents who have wealth who have been able to give them the extra benefits of life that allow them to go to (those schools). But this world is not made of just the kids who have the best GPA or made up of people like me who are average students who were given a chance. So if you give these average students a chance, I’ll bet that they’ll beat those kids who come up with advantages because they have understood how hard life can be. I’m not worried about sending out my message to the big broad category of all kids, because I know that kids who come from The Woodlands and who come from upper middle-class white families, they’re not going to come to TSU. But there are many more students of color who will come to TSU. Reprinted from The Houston Business Journal

Ocean News

Ocean of Soul Band Camp begins Friday, August 14, 2015

TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY 2015 Football Schedule - September 2015 Friday September 11

Bacone College BBVA Compass Stadium

Saturday, September 19

Arkansas-Pine Bluff Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Saturday, September 26

Jackson State University Jackson , Mississippi


OCEAN SPOTLIGHT The Bayou City Brass Band

Left to Right: Deante Deese( Ocean Alumnus) James Wilson, Jr. Don Washington (Ocean Alumnus), Marcellous A. Jones, Mistah J. Jones, Dwight Cawthon, Jr. ( Ocean Alumnus), Christopher Rose, Wendel P. Tildford, Jr., Renie Hughes, William Thomas, II (Founder)

Kickin’ Brass and Takin’ Names The Bayou City Brass Band is a unique music troupe that embodies the traditions and influence of New Orleans Brass Bands and combines the sublime influences of jazz, R&B and Hip-Hop music to create unique sound. The Bayou City Brass Band consists of Founder William G. Thomas, II and other original founding members, Ocean Alumni Don Washington, Dwight Cawthon and Deante Deese, The Bayou City Brass Bands’ membership also consists of alumni from Alcorn State University, Grambling State University, Prairie View A&M University and Southern University. Bayou City Brass Band performs regularly in Houston and the surrounding areas. Bayou City Brass Band newest release "Fussin & Cussin" is available at Serious Sounds.

Freshmen Orientation Calling All TSU Alumni We would like alumni to assist with FRESHMAN ORIENTATION Join us on Monday, August 17, 2015 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon Parking will be available behind the Sterling Student Life Center in parking lot S1 Give back to students at TSU by assisting with registration during our 2015 Freshman Orientation. Alumni will greet Freshman Tigers and their families during orientation. Please wear your TSU Alumni T-Shirt. We cannot make this event a success without the help of our dedicated alumni. We look forward to your participation as alumni pass on the Tiger spirit and welcome incoming Freshman to campus for the first time this year! Sharing is caring! Pass this along to other Alumni you know. Let's show the students that TSU is not just for four years, it's for life! Go Tigers! After registration freshmen will take the Tiger Paw Oath and be pinned as official members of the Pre-Alumni Association. All alumni present are asked to help with the pinning ceremony. For more information, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations & Special Events at 713-313-1361 or We look forward to seeing you on August 17th.

Homecoming Activities 2015 SAVE THE DATE 2015 Alumni Homecoming Activities Hotel Accommodations are available for Homecoming at the following hotels:

The Sheraton Suites Hotel near the Galleria 2400 W. Loop South

Spring Hill Suites Houston Downtown/Convention Center 914 Dallas @ Main Street The University will recognize the Classes of 1965, 1990 and 2005 celebrating 50, 25 and 10 years during Homecoming.

We will also celebrate all women who resided in Lanier Hall for Women . Call the Office of Alumni Relations at 713-313-1361 or email and we will forward you the name and contact information for your class leader.


The Ocean of Soul performing at the Mayor’s State of the City Address in 2013.

Bobbi Humphery

LIVE Texas Southern University Saturday, August 29, 2015

OCEAN ALUMNI NEWS The Ocean of Soul Alumni Chapter is looking for mentors

Hey Ocean! This past spring, the OOSAA started a mentor program for current students in the Ocean of Soul. In the program, Alumni were assigned 1-3 students to keep in touch with throughout the semester in an attempt to create relationships, bridge the gaps between alumni and current students, and assist the students if needed. We are currently in need of more mentors to work with the incoming freshmen. If you are interested in signing up, please contact Joselyn Coats at for more details.

Ocean Alumnus honored with the Texas Southern University National Alumni Association’s Excellence In Achievement Award

The Ocean of Soul Alumni Chapter would like to congratulate Alumni Member Reginald “”Action” Thompson for being honored by the Texas Southern University National Alumni Association. This prestigious award pays tribute to Texas Southern University Alumni who have made extraordinary career and civic achievements. Congratulations Action !

“THEOCEANOFSOULMATTERS” Support the Ocean of Soul

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