Chris Young is being recognized for his ongoing support of music education. Young's alma mater, Middle Tennessee State University, is set to open the Chris Young Cafe in the fall.

Previously known as the Cyber Cafe, the newly-renovated space consists of 3,200 square feet of community and dining space, and it also has two raised platform stages. It will provide a learning and practice space for aspiring musicians and technicians during the day, while at night it will serve as a performance venue for music, radio broadcasts, comedy and more. The venue will provide hands-on learning opportunities for not only performers, but concert production and audio production as well.

Young attended MTSU in 2005, just a year before winning Nashville Star and launching a career that has seen him score 11 No. 1 singles and two Grammy nominations, along with CMA and ACM Awards nominations. He's maintained his ties to the school by donating some of his audio equipment in 2012, then launching an annual scholarship for recording industry students beginning in 2016.

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“MTSU will always hold a special place in my heart,” Young says in a press release. “It helped me launch my music career and I’m glad for the opportunity to give back to the university.”

Young also gave the university $50,000 toward the renovation of the space. MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee was on hand at an event at the Country Music Association's headquarters on Nashville's Music Row on Tuesday (July 9) to thank Young for his generosity and for allowing the use of his name on the new venue.

“The Chris Young Cafe will encourage our students to dream bigger,” McPhee states. “Chris studied at MTSU and then launched a successful music industry career, so every time they see his name on the cafe, their aspirations will seem a little more obtainable if they follow in his footsteps and work as hard as he has.”

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