The Nashville Association of Talent Directors (NATD) is back this year for the “NATD College of Knowledge” at Murray State University on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium. There is no admission charge for the event. MSU music business students are especially encouraged to attend, but the program is open to anyone. Murray State students majoring in other areas who are interested in the business side of the music industry will find the evening helpful as well.

The program is designed to let entertainment professionals educate and inspire individuals with an interest in the music business while giving them an insider’s look at the various facets of the industry.

“There’s a lot of time and effort put into this program,” Steve Tolman, NATD president, said. “It’s exciting to be able to bring such a large and varied group of entertainment professionals to the music business students at Murray State.”

The event’s speakers will be announced at a later date. Last year’s NATD College of Knowledge panelists at Murray State included top selling country music recording artist Josh Gracin, as well as representatives from the Nashville music business industry.

Long time Music Row veteran and NATD member Tony Conway said, “This is one of my proudest moments in the 30 years I have been involved in the association. I feel that the organization is giving back to the future youth of our business.”

Jim Carter, vice president of institutional advancement at MSU couldn’t be happier. “It is a credit to our reputation in Nashville and validates the work we’ve done to promote our emerging music business program that this program was tested here and has returned this year based on prior success,” Carter said.

The NATD and Murray State have a relationship that goes beyond setting up programs for students. As a part of that relationship, this past September, Sarah Clark represented the university at the NATD’s first Honors Gala, an event that honored some of Nashville’s most influential people. On stage that evening were such luminaries as Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz, comedian Lewis Black and famous country-rock band Alabama.

Clark, who is Carter’s co-host on Murray State’s video magazine program, Roundabout U, introduced Carter’s pre-recorded message on the value of the first College of Knowledge to Murray State and the importance of the NATD organization to the university’s music business program. A highlight of the College of Knowledge was shown at the gala and Murray State senior Hannah Rodgers was recognized as well. Rodgers is the first-ever recipient of a scholarship at MSU from NATD. Rodgers also received two internships from NATD — one at a publishing house and the other at an entertainment law firm.

“We were the only university partner represented the gala that evening,” Carter commented. “It is just proof-positive that we here at MSU are making big moves and leaving our fingerprint of excellence wherever we go. This is a great time to be a Racer.”

For more information on the College of Knowledge at Murray State, contact Carter at For information regarding the NATD, visit

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