Music-led Enhanced Campus Tour Experience at MTSU


Prospective Middle Tennessee State University students and their families will enjoy an enhanced campus tour experience — featuring live, acoustic music by current students — following upgrades unveiled this week for the weekday campus visits.

The upgrades — live music, a walk through MTSU history, selfie spot, a new video in cinemascope and surround sound featuring current students and True Blue Bag Campaign — are just part of the heightened tour experience that includes hearing a recording by the Band of Blue performing the MTSU fight song.

To view video of MTSU students performing on the tour stage, visit

Excluding holidays, MTSU conducts daily campus tours, at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters and once a day during the summer starting at the Student Services and Admissions Center, 1860 Blue Raider Drive.

For more on the guided campus tours, visit

University President Sidney A. McPhee knows prospective students feel welcome when the visit.

“In an effort to expand this sense of belonging, the admissions department launched the True Blue Bag Campaign,” said McPhee, with every visitor given a distinguishable blue bag upon tour check-in. Contents include an MTSU Viewbook, Visitors Guide and information for parents. “With these bags, our campus visitors will be very visible, not only in tour groups but also as they explore campus on their own,” he added.

In anticipation of more visitors, MTSU officials put plans in motion for the additional amenities on the first floor of the admissions tour area. The second floor houses the MT One Stop, which provides an array of services in the areas of financial aid, course registration, tuition and billing and transcripts.

“This revamped tour offers prospective students an opportunity to become immersed into the environment and culture of MTSU,” said Nathan Haynes, associate director of marketing and technical support for undergraduate recruitment.

“We have taken advantage of the architectural and technological assets of the student services facility and utilized them to their fullest extent to create an innovative and unique experience that also includes a chance to see our on-campus housing,” Haynes added.

Linda Olsen, director of undergraduate recruitment, said the campus tour is “one of the key steps in the decision-making process for prospective students.”

“We have dedicated many resources to assure our tour stands out as students explore their university options,” Olsen added.

Rob Janson, strategic communications manager in the Office of Marketing and Communications, suggested and developed the idea for acoustic music, featuring students from the university’s popular Commercial Songwriting program within the internationally recognized Department of Recording Industry. Five MTSU songwriting students have been hired to perform original songs — giving them exposure and experience — 45 minutes before the tour begins.

“The revamped MTSU tour experience is really designed to be just that, an experience,” Janson said. “We’ve essentially taken what was fairly standard presentation and infused it with MTSU-centric programming that quickly immerses prospective students and their families in the True Blue culture.”

“We believe the music is the first of its kind on a college campus,” added Janson, referring to the first-floor stage in the visitor’s lobby area.

Students can meet with their admissions counselor following the tour, Haynes said.

Donna Baker, archivist with the Albert Gore Research Center, developed the plan for the history walk through and contributed Gore Center memorabilia. Copies of MTSU Magazine and MTSU Visitors Guide are available for guests.

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