- Encountered treatment of black Americans as second- class citizens
- As student unrest continued, charged with channeling student energies toward accomplishing the educational goals
- Championed TSU expansion by increasing recruitment of international students, fulfilling designation as special purpose institution for urban programming and spreading message of “ Excellent in Achievement”
- His tenure saw men’s basketball NAIA championship, appointment of Dr. Rod Paige as athletic director.
- Birth of the Ocean of soul marching band
- Founding of weekend college and mobile campus
- Establishment of KTSU- Radio
- Closing of Wheeler Street, which Sawyer said “ gave us campus”