NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As we end Black History Month, Nashville’s own Fisk University was honored by state legislators for making history of its own. The school became the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) with a gymnastics program competing at the NCAA level.

Tennessee State Rep. Jesse Chism from Memphis welcomed the team at the State Capitol Monday. It was part of an annual Black History Month tribute by the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators. Lawmakers applauded as Chism talked about how the Fisk Gymnastics team followed the footsteps of trailblazing legislators who sat in that chamber.

“We stand on the shoulders of so many great dreamers that have changed the world. Dreamers such as Sampson Keeble, who was born in 1873 in Rutherford County as a slave but ended up being the first Black mayor to every serve in our state legislature,” said Chism. “Ladies, remember, freedom lies in being bold. Fisk University, we salute you.”

Ivy league coach Corrinne Tarver brought her 30 years of experience in gymnastics coaching to the Fisk team. Their first meet in Las Vegas allowed them to compete against some of the top programs in the country.

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“Our illustrious coach — Coach Corrine Tarver — her five staff members and her fighting 15 have shown that the inaugural season is just beginning for those students who hope to continue to shatter barriers and open the doors for other HBCU’s to tumble in their footsteps,” said Chism.

The team has garnered national attention and support over the past year. Fisk is now raising money to build the gymnastics team a gym of their own.