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Book it: U of M history recorded in new volume
Did you know that the Mynders Hall allegedly housed more than female students? Legend has it that the ghost of Elizabeth Mynders, daughter of the University’s first president, roams the building as well. You might not be aware that the University welcomed cattle, pigs and chickens to campus in 1913 when it established an agriculture program at the urging of area residents.

And long before there was a Student Recreation Center, there was a swimming pool east of the Administration Building. In 1921 President Andrew Kincannon commissioned the pool — really more of a large swimming hole lined with sand — because he felt that students should know how to swim. Documents at the time noted the pool was filled with “several million gallons of pure artesian water.”

This photo of Larry Finch playing basketball with Memphis youth is one of dozens of archival images that will appear in a new book about the history of the University.
This photo of Larry Finch playing basketball with Memphis youth is one of dozens of archival images that will appear in a new book about the history of the University.

These anecdotes are part of the history of the University of Memphis that will be related in a book to be published in November 2011 to mark the University’s centennial. The book is being written by Dr. Janann Sherman, professor and chair of history, and co-author Dr. Beverly Bond, associate professor of history.

The 128-page coffee table book will rely heavily on photos and illustrations to tell the University’s story. So far, some 600 photos have been scanned for the book. These include everything from a young, bell-bottom clad Larry Finch playing basketball with some youths to aerial views of an early campus and protesters at the groundbreaking 1970 production of the controversial musical Hair.

The full-color book won’t be a dry, scholarly history, Sherman promises. “I want this to be a fun history,” she said. “I could concentrate on presidents and policies, but that book would be in a repository for historical preservation. I want anecdotes people can tell to their friends.”

­— by Gabrielle Maxey

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