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U of M Magazine

August 2002

A Message to Our Alumni from President Raines - Celebrating our 90th anniversary
Upcoming Events

A Message to Our Alumni from President Raines

President RainesAs 1912 dawned, no one could predict how historic it would be. Within four months, the Titanic would sail into eternity. Arizona and New Mexico would become new states, the last for almost 50 years. The Girl Scouts of America would be founded, and Woodrow Wilson would be elected president. The ill-fated Scott would reach the South Pole, but would not return. Olympic athlete Jim Thorpe would be crowned "the greatest athlete in the world." Harvard would share the NCAA football championship with Penn State.

And, on the eastern fringes of Memphis, a new state college for the education of teachers would open its doors to its first students - West Tennessee Normal School.

Since that September 90 years ago, the world has changed tremendously, and so has that school. Its name has changed several times - from school, to college, to university - to reflect its burgeoning status. Its campus has grown to accommodate more than 20,000 students. And its mission has expanded from solely that of educating teachers for Tennessee schools to providing a comprehensive university that offers learning, research and service to the state, the nation, and the world.

I became president of The University of Memphis just before it entered its ninth decade. Now that I've been here for a year and have seen first-hand the strengths - recognized and potential - that exist here, I believe The University of Memphis is about to enter one of its most historic and most productive periods. Our faculty, staff, alumni, benefactors, and friends from throughout the community constitute our greatest collective strength. They, in turn, lead and support the academic programs at the University, some of which already have outstanding reputations, while others are on the verge of national recognition. We continue to increase our curriculum, for example, the Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management, and to enhance our research and teaching capabilities, as demonstrated by the FedEx Technology Institute. From bachelor's degrees through post-doctorate study, we offer current and future students a quality education in a forward-looking academic environment.

As alumni, you are aware of the funding issues that have plagued education, particularly higher education, in Tennessee. Nevertheless, my hopes for the future of the University have not waned since I took office in July 2001. In fact, because of the loyalty and determination of the University community, and because of the support of our alumni, and business and civic leaders, my enthusiasm about the future of The University of Memphis is even greater than when I first became president.

Alumni support, through viable alumni organizations, is a cornerstone for the success of any university. I'm proud to say that our alumni support is getting stronger every day. Our Alumni Association leaders are developing ideas and programs to maintain closer contact with our alums locally, regionally, and nationally. I look forward to meeting alumni locally and around the country, whenever the opportunity arises. In the meantime, we will keep you informed about happenings at your university through this e-newsletter. I am proud to be president of your University, and I will do my utmost to ensure that the pride you have in The University of Memphis is justly deserved.

On behalf of Alumni Association President Richard Glassman, we invite you to contact the Alumni Association by e-mail at acantrll@memphis.edu or by phone at 1-800-678-8729 or (901) 678-5314 to get involved. We need you.

Upcoming Events

The Alumni Associationis sponsoring a bus trip to the Tiger football game at Ole Miss on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2002. For more information, please contact (901) 678-5314 or e-mail acantrll@memphis.edu.

The journalism department is holding an awards banquet to honor alumni on Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Racquet Club. A new award named in honor of Dr. Herbert Lee Williams, first chairman of the department, will be presented posthumously to Ken Sossaman for his career and accomplishments in advertising. In addition, two alumni will receive the Charles E. Thornton Outstanding Journalism Alumni Award, named in honor of the graduate and journalist killed in Afghanistan while on assignment. For more information, contact Kini Kedigh Plumlee at (901) 682-0264 or e-mail Kkplumlee@theatrememphis.org.

Look for the Fall 2002 Continuing Education schedule this Sunday, Aug. 18, online at http://www.memphis.edu/continuinged and in The Commercial Appeal.

Copyright (C) 2002 The University of Memphis Alumni Association.
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