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.
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