Dear Campus Community:

The University of Memphis extends its sympathies on the death of former U.S. senator and Republican presidential candidate Fred Dalton Thompson, who passed away yesterday.

Mr. Thompson was an alumnus and longtime friend of the University of Memphis, earning a bachelor's degree in political science in 1964. He received the University's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996.

Fred Thompson served our University, state and country with great distinction. We are deeply saddened by this loss and will forever benefit from the good work completed by this great alumnus and Tennessean.

Mr. Thompson, who grew up in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, was widely respected for his dedication to public service. His career placed him squarely in pivotal moments in Tennessee and U.S. history. He rose to fame as an attorney during the Watergate hearings. He served as a senator from 1994 to 2003 before launching a brief run for the presidency in 2008.

With a commanding voice, he starred in numerous films and television series, including "The Hunt for Red October," "No Way Out" and "Law & Order."

By order of the Governor, flags over the State Capitol and all State office buildings shall be flown at half-staff in memory of Senator Fred Thompson. Flags shall be lowered effective immediately until sunset on the day of internment.

Thank you,

M. David Rudd | President