In 1914, during our days as East Tennessee State Normal School, Professor Riley Haworth recruited a group of students to help promote better schools in Northeast Tennessee. They traveled across seven counties, appearing in schoolhouses and churches and talking about the need for improved schools and teaching facilities.
Music framed their message. Harvey Loy sang bass, Adam Sherrod and Banness Hale were tenors, and Onslo Runyon sang baritone. They became known as the Normal School Quartet, and, along with band members Harvey Thomas and Hexie NcNeil, their efforts were later hailed by the United States Bureau of Education as "The Greatest Educational Campaign in America."
Nearly 100 years later, the story of East Tennessee State University continues. Through music, art, storytelling, theater, dance, poetry, song, film, and more, the arts live at the core of this great institution. The new ETSU Arts Initiative is our number-one priority as we endeavor to raise additional support to build and expand our arts programs and enhance the lives of our students, this campus, and this region we call home.
I ask you to take a moment and think again about that effort during 1914 that was so profound as to be called a great educational campaign. The story those students told a century ago still resonates across our region through the power of art.
That power lives today at ETSU. Thank you for your interest in the arts at ETSU.