Mrs. Ivanetta Davis, former First Lady at Tennessee State University, celebrates her 100th birthday June 19 during the Centennial Day Celebration. Davis will be honored during this year’s Homecoming 2012 as Grand Marshall. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, Department of Media Relations)

Ivanetta Davis’ tie to Tennessee State University stands out in a very unique way. Alumnae and former First Lady – all at the same time – seem like a rare feat. But if you think that’s a lot, add Grand Marshal.

Yes, Grand Marshal of TSU’s Centennial Homecoming parade. And, who better for the role than the former First Lady – who also celebrated her 100th birth anniversary (June 19) this year.

“I am honored to be asked to serve as the Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal,” Davis said. “Tennessee State University is my school and I love to serve in any way I can.”

Speaking in her home recently about Tennessee State University of the past and her role as the Centennial Homecoming Grand Marshal, the Centenarian spoke highly about the growth the University has achieved over the years.

“Tennessee State has grown for the better,” she said. “Back when my husband was president, not only did the school help to educate the children, but it got a lot of help from the churches and the community. They all came together to help the students.”

As a student, Davis entered Tennessee State University, then Tennessee A&I, in 1936 as an elementary education major. While attending the University, she met and fell in love with the then head football coach, Walter S. Davis, who would later become the second president of the University. The two later got married and had a son, Ivan, who currently works at TSU in the Health Services.

Not surprising, Davis, as the close confidante of her husband, was a major contributor to the tremendous growth the University experienced during Dr. Davis’ reign as president of Tennessee A&I. Together, they gave the school 25 years of service. READ FULL