For release: June 4, 2012
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901-678-2843
A new scholarship has been established to honor Dr. Shirley Raines, president of the
University of Memphis, by Mr. and Mrs. Brad Martin. The scholarship, which will be
awarded annually to three undergraduates from West Tennessee who intend to pursue
a career in teaching, is being underwritten initially by a commitment of $100,000
from the Martins.
The scholarship recognizes Raines for her leadership of the University of Memphis
since July 2001. In funding the scholarship, Brad Martin said, “The esteem in which
President Raines is held by students, faculty, alumni, and our community is a direct
reflection of the fact that she is, first, a great teacher. The Raines Scholarships
will support individuals from our region who likewise intend to devote themselves
to a life of teaching. In Shirley Raines, they will have an extraordinary role model.”
Raines said, in response to the honor, “I am deeply honored that Brad and Dina Martin
have chosen to establish the scholarships in my name. Future generations of young
teachers will be helped by the Martins’ generosity. As someone who has spent a lifetime
in the field of education, I realize the vital importance of teachers to our society
and of the preparation of teachers for their chosen careers. These scholarships will
benefit future teachers from West Tennessee, the area of the state where I grew up
and where I was taught by extraordinary teachers.”
A native of Bells, Tenn., she began her lifetime education career as a classroom teacher
and later was a childcare center director and director of a Head Start program. Before
coming to the U of M as its president, she was vice chancellor for Academic Services
and dean of the College of Education at the University of Kentucky.
During her tenure as U of M president, Raines was instrumental in the establishment
of the Memphis Research Foundation and in the formation of partnerships between the
University and other community businesses and organizations. Her efforts have resulted
in a great (almost 100 percent) increase in sponsored research grants and contract
awards, as well as increases in annual giving to the University from private donors.
In terms of students, she has focused on increased emphasis on student retention,
expansion of the University’s Honors and Emerging Leaders programs, establishment
of a guaranteed internship program for qualified students, and the establishment of
living-learning residential and curricular learning communities throughout campus.
Brad Martin has a long association with the University, beginning as a student in
the 1970s. Before graduating with a B.A. degree in political science in 1976, he
had served as Student Government President and on the Student Ambassador Board. As
an alumnus, he chaired the Board of Visitors and the U of M Foundation Board of Trustees
from 2007 to 2009, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award, and he taught a class
in state and local politics. He has also served on the Tiger Athletic Advisory Board
and as a University Athletic Ambassador.
Currently he is a member of the cabinet for the Empowering the Dream Centennial campaign.
Dina Martin graduated cum laude with a BFA degree in theatre. She served on the Music Advisory Council in 2008.