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Scholarship in Honor of U of M President Raines Will be Funded by Martin Family

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.

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