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Martin-UT Partnership Suggests Benefits for Giles County Area

Effects on Pulaski and Giles County of the partnership between Martin Methodist College and the University of Tennessee continue to be worked out, a process which could take months,

Mark La Branche, president of Martin Methodist College, discussed possible effects of the partnership with members of the Giles County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, recently.

Not mentioned at the meeting was one reaction encountered by 70th District State Rep. Clay Doggett, R-Pulaski, who mentioned the partnership following results of the Nov. 3 election in which Doggett was re-elected with no opposition. Doggett’s district includes all of Giles and part of Lawrence counties.

“People who want to go to MTSU will be able to go to MTSU,” he said, following the results of the election.

Concerns had been raised that the Martin Methodist College- University of Tennessee partnership, which is expected to result in more students coming to the campus in Pulaski, would come at the expense of MYSU’s enrollment numbers,

Approximately 1,500 MTSU students come from Giles, Lawrence and maybe other surrounding counties, Doggett indicated

One aim of the expanded campus in Pulaski is to attract students who are attended colleges and universities out of state, such as in Alabama, officials have said.

In the meeting with NAACP members, La Branche urged investment in Giles County School System buildings and facilities.

The partnership would be a good reason to invest in school buildings, he said.

More meetings with community organizations and groups. such as the NAACP, also are anticipated to learn more about needs and desires of the community, he said,

“There will be meetings and other community followup,” he said,

Hopefully, the proposed partnership and the investment it generated can lead to more revitalization of parts of the city, such as Pulaski’s North End, Pulaski resident John Birdsong said.

“It seems like Pulaski gets left behind when it comes to North Pulaski,” he said,

One hope of the partnership is that more people would come to live and work in this area, which could fuel development.

Individual and area economic development could feed off each other, the Martin leader said.

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