TTU Pride Days this year to feature Clear Channel radio 'Pride Patrol'

August in Cookeville means more than just back-to-school — it also means the annual TTU Pride Days celebration.

Running this year from Aug. 20 through Sept. 2, the event welcomes new and returning students to Tennessee Tech University while simultaneously offering local businesses opportunities for special, university-related promotions.

“The highlight of this year’s TTU Pride Days will be the Pride Patrol,” said Tracy Black, TTU marketing director.

The university will partner with Clear Channel of Cookeville to send out morning radio personalities who will award prizes to local businesses with storefronts noticeably decked out in the TTU colors of purple and gold.

“The Pride Patrol will be held one morning during the week of Aug. 28, so get out those TTU banners, pennants and other purple and gold decorations for a chance to win a variety of TTU merchandise that will be up for grabs,” Black said.

Another way the university is promoting its annual TTU Pride Days celebration this year is with a series of colorful billboards located in Cookeville at the corner of Willow Avenue and Broad Street, on Jefferson Avenue near the Cumberland Station shopping center and on Jackson Street.

“The number one purpose of TTU Pride Days is to give the students and their families a sense of being welcomed to our community,” Black said. “Our community is one of the key selling points when we talk to prospective students, and students develop good feelings from being welcomed by the people who live here.

“At the same time, we realize those students are economically important and beneficial to our local businesses,” she continued, “so offering those businesses an opportunity to be TTU Pride Partners is a way to recognize that relationship.”

As TTU Pride Partners, businesses reap the benefits of reaching the campus community with promotions, and the university enjoys the visible show of support.

Any business can become a TTU Pride Partner by planning a special promotion or discount or by contacting the university about any TTU specials already offered. Partner promotions and discounts will be listed on the Pride Days web site, and campus-wide e-mail messages will be broadcast as reminders for students, faculty and staff to shop with TTU Pride Partners.

Businesses are also encouraged to plan special TTU Pride Days events — such as “welcome back” parties with drawings, door prizes and other incentives — which will be posted on the TTU web site too.

“Each year, the number of participating area businesses has grown as organizers spread the word that Pride Days offer a chance for businesses to cultivate new customers,” Black said.

Every Pride Partner receives a special decal to place on TTU Pride yard signs or on inside displays to identify its business as a partner to area customers. There is no charge for participating in the program.

“Speaking of TTU Pride yard signs, they have become a hot commodity for businesses and other community members who want to show their university spirit,” Black said.

This year’s distribution locations include: on-campus — Roaden University Center Information Desk, Hooper Eblen Center ticket office, University Bookstore and Alumni Relations Office — and off-campus — Kroger, Bi-Lo, Regions Bank (W. Broad Street location), First National Bank and First Tennessee Bank (Jefferson Avenue locations), Student Book and Supply and the Leslie Town Centre Chamber of Commerce.

It’s still not too late for businesses to become TTU Pride Partners, either.

Business owners or managers who wish to participate may download from the university’s Pride Days web site a registration form outlining the details of the discount they choose to offer, and completed forms can be faxed to the Public Affairs Office at 931/372-6138.

A list of early TTU Pride Partners is already posted on the university web site.

Students will begin arriving on campus when residence halls open on Thursday, Aug. 24. Classes begin on Monday, Aug. 28.

For more information about TTU Pride Days, visit or call Black at 931/372-6525.

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