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Board of Visitors

In 1989, a group of prominent Memphis business and community leaders, led by Robert Fogelman, formed a board to guide the president of The University of Memphis in attaining excellence and national recognition for the University. This group, known as the Board of Visitors (BOV), was the first of its kind in the state. They were charged with raising the University's national stature and enhancing the school's relationship with the local community. 

Among its activities, the BOV works to enhance the image of the University and was supportive of the successful name change to the University of Memphis in 1994. It also was actively involved in the selection of the last two presidents. In addition, the BOV sponsors the Eminent Faculty Award that encourages excellence in research, teaching and outreach. This prestigious award, that comes with a $20,000 stipend completely funded by the BOV, was renamed in 2006 as the Willard R. Sparks Eminent Faculty Award after former Chairman Willard Sparks. In 1999 the board was restructured and began assisting the University in the areas of programs, fundraising and strategic planning. The full board meets approximately four times each year in addition to its task force meetings.


Mr. Tom Watson

Vice Chair
Ben Bryant, Jr.

Mr. Tom Kadien

Rita Sparks


Ms. Anise Belz

Mr. Michael Bruns
Bruns Holdings, Owner

Mr. Benjamin C. Bryant, Jr.
University of Memphis
FedEx Institute of Technology

Mr. Pace D. Cooper
Cooper Hotels
President and CEO

Mr. Hilliard R. Crews, Jr.
Shelby Group International Inc.

Mr. Doug Edwards
Edwin M. Jones Oil Company

Mr. David B. Ferraro

Mr. Willie H. Gregory, Sr.
Nike Incorporated and Affiliates
Director of Operations -Employee Community Investments

Ms. Helen S. Gronauer
Shelby Ventures LLC

Ms. Carolyn C. Hardy
Chism Hardy Investments LLC

Mr. Donald Hutson
U.S. Learning

Mr. George T. Johnson
BJB Administrative Services LLC

Ms. Elise Jordan
FedEx Express
Sr. Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Thomas G. Kadien
International Paper
Senior Vice President Consumer Packaging and IP Asia

Mr. Michael Kisber
FTN Financial

Mr. David Kustoff
Kustoff and Strickland PLLC

Mr. James D. Lackie
Rhyton Capital Management LLC

Ms. James E. McGehee, Jr.
McGehee Realty and Development Co.

Mr. David Perdue
Asentinel LLC

Mr. John Reid
Russel Metal Corporation
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Stephen C. Reynolds
Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation
President and CEO

Ms. Amy P. Rhodes

Dr. Trish Calvert Ring
Consulting Psychologist

Mr. Gary S. Shorb
Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare
President and CEO

Mr. Harry L. Smith
HNB Partners

Mr. Stefan M. Smith
Lexus of Memphis
Owner, President and COO

Ms. Rita Sparks

Mr. Richard A. Spell
Morgan Keegan and Company
Managing Director

Ms. Susan Springfield
First Horizon Bank
Executive Vice President &
Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Mitchell D. Spurlcok
Founder and Chairman of Power Transport, Aqua Chempac and Magnolia Paper
Founder and Partner of Diversified Services of Tampa

Mr. John W. Stokes, Jr.
Morgan Keegan and Company
Vice President

Ms. Laurie A. Tucker
Calade Partners LLC
Co-Founder/Chief Strategy Officere

Mr. James L. Vining
Vining Sparks IBG
Chairman Emeritus

Mr. J. Thomas Watson
Armstrong Relocation

Mr. David Wedaman
Re Trans Inc.

Ms. Carolyn S. Williams-Bennett
Duncan Williams Inc.
Co Chairman

Mr. C. Kemmons Wilson, Jr.
Kemmons Wilson Companies


Mr. Gregory M. Duckett
Baptist Memorial Healthcare Corporation
Senior VP, Corporate Counsel

Mr. John M. Farris
Farris Bobango PLLC, Partner

Dr. M. David Rudd
University of Memphis

Ms. Anita Vaughn
Anita Vaughn
President, Alumni Association
CEO, Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women

Mr. David G. Zettergren
University of Memphis
VP for Business and Finance


Mr. Frank L. Flautt, Jr.
Flautt Inc., President

Mr. Robert F. Fogelman
Fogelman Investment Company
Former President

The Honorable Mark H. Luttrell
Shelby County Government

The Honorable AC Wharton, Jr.
Memphis City Government


Dr. Thomas G. Carpenter

Got a Question? Ask TOM | Contact Us | Memphis, TN 38152 | 901/678-2000 | Copyright 2014 University of Memphis | Important Notice | Last Updated: 8/26/14

The University of Memphis is an AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. Full Non-Discrimination Policy.

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