From left to right: Kemmons Wilson Jr., Recipient of Distinguished Friend Award; Summer
Owens, Recipient of Outstanding Young Alumna Award; Marvin Ellison, Recipient of Outstanding
Alumnus Award; Dr. Rajiv Grover, Dean of Fogelman College; and Sarah Maurice, FCBE
Alumni Chapter Board VP
The Fogelman College of Business and Economics hosted its annual alumni appreciation
luncheon on Tuesday, November 13 celebrating some of the school's most distinguished
graduates and honoring a longtime supporter.
Marvin Ellison, Executive Vice President of Home Depot, received the Outstanding Alumnus
Award honoring his extremely successful business career. Summer Owens received the
Outstanding Young Alumna award. She is a graduate of the Fogelman College, marketing
specialist at FedEx, author of the book Life After Birth: A Memoir of Survival and
Success as a Teenage Mother and mentor of the Adolescent Parenting Program. Kemmons
Wilson Jr., Executive Vice President of the Kemmons Wilson Company, was recognized
for his life-time patronage to the college.
Hundreds of guests were moved by these three individuals unique, but inspiring stories.
A common theme of hard work, faith and family values was apparent throughout the afternoon.
Ellison attributed his professional and personal success to a strong sense of integrity
and perseverance. Owens moved the audience to tears with her story. At fifteen-years-old
she became pregnant after a forced encounter; however, she refused to let her current
circumstances dictate her life’s path. She graduated high school, attending college
on scholarship, completed her undergraduate degree as magna cum laude and went on
to receive her masters before entering the corporate world. Wilson praised the University
for its positive influence on the Memphis community, alumni and students.
“There has never been a better or more exciting time at Fogelman College of Business
and Economics,” said Kemmons Wilson Jr. “Every great city must have an excellent university
in order to be successful. Thankfully, Memphis has one.”
Bill Courtney, local entrepreneur, high school football coach, and star of the Academy-Award
winning documentary “Undefeated” was the key-note speaker. His riveting speech encouraged
luncheon attendees to get out of their comfort zones, try to serve others before themselves,
to build a strong foundation and to consider their legacies. His message was both
powerful and entertaining.
According to attendees, the luncheon was a tremendous success.
"This was our best program ever, with an engaging and inspiring program by Bill Courtney,”
Rajiv Grover, Dean of Fogelman College said. "Our award winners exemplify that kind
of thinking and action and attributed their success to faith, family and hard work."
Marvin Ellison Receiving Outstanding Alumnus Award
Summer Owens Receiving Outstanding Young Alumna Award
Kemmons Wilson Jr. Receiving Distinguished Friend Award
Bill Courtney Giving Keynote Address