Former University Queens Honor Current Miss TSU Mariah Rhodes At Peabody Hotel
Former Miss Tennessee State University (TSU) queens from Memphis recently gathered in honor of Memphis native Mariah Rhodes, Miss TSU 2020-2021. Due to Covid-19 many of the traditional Homecoming activities were canceled, including the annual royal tea and reception hosted by the University President. As a result, Mariah would not get the opportunity to experience this tradition therefore, former Miss TSU’s from Shelby County came together to recreate the experience by having the first Memphis TSU Queens High Tea at Chez Philippe at the Peabody Hotel.
Despite the Pandemic, all local Miss TSU’s were in attendance including a brief appearance by Mrs. Pippin who is 94 years old. Mrs. Pippin is the oldest living Miss TSU and has never missed an annual tea since it started in 1992. The annual tea was created by Memphis native, Dale Williams during her reign, and hosted by the former first lady Edwina Hefner wife of Dr. James Hefner, a past president. The tea has been an annual event since that time and has always been hosted by the President of the University during TSU’s Homecoming.
Mariah said, she was very grateful for the tea because she has missed so many big moments like the Southern Heritage Classic, Homecoming parade and other activities that Miss TSU’s traditionally participate. Despite the challenges of COVID-19 Mariah remains very active as Miss TSU.
She is a senior, majoring in Political Science. Mariah is also a graduate of Power Center Academy High School, in which she participated in the Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor’s Society, and the Beta Club. During graduation, she was recognized for earning 3.8 Million dollars in scholarships.
Outside of school, Mariah served in the Memphis community as the Vice President of Modern Distinctive Ladies, Inc. After graduating from the program, she became a mentor for young ladies that went through similar experiences. Mariah believes that her participation in school and community programs have prepared her post-secondary education. In August of 2017, Mariah arrived at Tennessee State University. During her matriculation, she has served as a campus Ambassador, a TSU Tom Joyner Foundation Ambassador, the Executive Secretary for the 79th Administration of the Student Government Association, appointed as a Justice on Student Court and Disciplinary Board, graduated from TSU’s Citizens Collegiate Police Academy, and represented Tennessee State University as a HBCU White House Initiative Ambassador while maintaining a cumulative 4.0 GPA. In the spring 2019, she was initiated into Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, International to focus on achieving her goal of attending law school with a focus in Criminal and Educational Law. Her long-term aspiration is to become an elected official advocating for criminal and education reform. During the fall of 2020, Mariah was officially crowned, the 91st Miss Tennessee State University on the platform “The MARIAHthon Continues”. Mariah’s goal as Miss Tennessee State University is to inspire and encourage individuals to never give up. Additionally, Mariah was initiated into the Alpha Chi chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Wholeheartedly, she is excited to serve her tiger family as Miss Tennessee State University.