I write this column having survived the apocalypse. I am not referring to the latest cut in state funding, but what has become 2012’s most famous graphic design, the Mayan circular calendar. It’s amazing that an artist representation from seventh century Central America endured to cause global anxiety in the 21st century, a time when many see buying art as the best investment. Others see passing on artistic creations to the Art Museum of the University of Memphis (AMUM) as a great way to share these lasting treasures, protect them and perhaps help their investments. In this issue of CCFA Voices, three generous gifts to AMUM are featured that will enrich our programs and students for centuries.
Other gifts are making it possible to transform parts of the Art and Communication
Building (ACB). Thanks to Bobby and Martha Fogelman, we expect to complete the contemporary art galleries
for the Art Department during the spring semester. Thanks to Jimmy Humphreys we look forward to
renovated atrium areas, providing a home for large scale works of art. The building is also home to
a new Subway Café and plaza dining area thanks to Subway and campus dining. Come and join us for artistic
Jones Hall, home of the Architecture Department, has undergone a transformation as
well thanks to a number of grants including ones from the State Board of Architectural and Engineering
Examiners, help from AIA friends, and Physical Plant and Campus Planning & Design departments. The
third floor has been transformed into new studios, a major lighting laboratory, and other essential spaces
that helped make the recent accreditation site visit by the National Architectural Accrediting Board
(NAAB) a pleasant one. In a few months, we will get the final assessment on our accreditation request. We
will also get one from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications for the
Department of Journalism, which profited from renovation work in the Meeman Journalism Building.
A Strengthening Communities grant made a partnership possible between Art Education
Professor Dr. Heise and Education Professor Dr. McGillivray to help homeless mothers and children
find resilience. “Let’s Talk Health,” a partnership between the Loewenberg School of Nursing, the Department
of Communication and WUMR-FM 91.7, is helping make Memphis a healthier and better informed community.
These partnerships are good examples of CCFA’s community outreach, which recently added
Douglass High School to the ranks of Memphis schools we are directly assisting, thanks to Communication
Professor Dr. Mandy Young.
Since 1979, CCFA has helped Memphis appreciate its own through the Distinguished Achievement Award in the Creative or Performing Arts, established in memory of Elvis Presley.
This year we honored internationally recognized violinist and longtime concertmaster of the Memphis Symphony
Orchestra Joy Brown Wiener. CCFA received a number of honors of its own. The Communication Department,
under the leadership of Dr. Tony de Velasco and assisted by the Department of Journalism and
the Public Service Division, hosted a highly successful prestigious Biennial National Public Address
Conference. Theatre professors and students received many Memphis Theatre Awards (Ostranders). For the
second time in four years, the Opera area in the Scheidt School of Music produced the country’s best
college opera in its division according to the National Opera Association for the production of Idomeneo, directed by Professor Copeland Woodruff and conducted by Professor Mark Ensley. We are very proud of these
and others who have brought honor to our University.
Finally, I say goodbye to two strong members of the Scheidt School of Music. Sam Viviano,
professor of piano, retired at the end of the fall semester but will continue to teach a limited
number of students under the post-retirement plan. Professor Emeritus and former Music Department Chair David
Williams passed away on Dec. 6. He was a wonderful scholar, leader and friend who will be dearly missed.
As you enter a new year, keep your college’s outstanding programs, faculty, staff
and students in mind. Take pride in their accomplishments and help make us even better.
Richard R. Ranta, Dean