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Gene Pearson Memorial Giving



Gene Pearson, founding member of the Department of City and Regional Planning, and longtime director, passed away on May 23, 2017. Gene's career at the University of Memphis spanned forty years, during which he helped prepare generations of planners and had an indelible impact on the Memphis region.

Gene's family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Gene's honor to the Department of City and Regional Planning, so that we can continue to support students in his legacy and grow the program that Gene built.


To donate online:
Click "College of Arts and Sciences"
Click "All CAS Funds"
Select "City and Regional Planning Discretionary Fund"

To donate by check:
Make the check out to "University of Memphis Foundation, FUND 20729"
And mail it to
Department of City & Regional Planning
208 McCord Hall, University of Memphis
Memphis, TN 38152

Or contact us at 901-678-2161 and we'll help you arrange a donation.


Dream of a City

"Dream of a City" is the motto for the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Memphis. It alludes to the University's motto – "Dreamers. Thinkers. Doers." – while evoking Daniel Burnham's exhortation to make big plans, and reflecting Dr. Martin Luther King's vision of justice, unity, and opportunity. The purpose of the motto is, in part, to inspire students of planning to be visionary – to think beyond planning as a technical exercise and engage in planning as a creative endeavor. We also hope to inspire students, community partners, and planners alike to recognize that we don't have to settle for the faults, shortcomings, and injustices of our neighborhoods and places – that change is possible if there is vision. We each have our unique perspectives on what makes an ideal city.

We welcome your knowledge, insights, visions, and dreams!

Charlie Santo, PhD