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 twice each year in addition to committee meetings.



Mr. Tom Kadien

Vice Chair
Mr. Ben Bryant, Jr.

Mr. George T. Johnson

Not Filled

Mr. Robert F. Fogelman
Fogelman Investment Company
Founding BOV Chairman

The Honorable Mark H. Luttrell
Shelby County Government

The Honorable Jim Strickland
City of Memphis



Mr. Michael Bruns
Bruns Holdings, Owner

Mr. Benjamin C. Bryant, Jr.
University of Memphis
Crews Center for Entrepreneurship
Executive in Residence

Mr. Pace D. Cooper
Cooper Hotels
President and CEO

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

Mr. Willie H. Gregory, Sr.
Nike Inc.
Director Global Community Impact

Ms. Helen S. Gronauer
Shelby Ventures LLC

Ms. Carolyn C. Hardy
Chism Hardy Investments LLC

Mr. Donald Hutson
U.S. Learning

Ms. Karen Fields Isaacman
Armstrong Relocation

Mr. Larry Jensen
Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors
President & CEO

Mr. George T. Johnson
BJB Administrative Services LLC

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

Mr. Thomas G. Kadien
UMRF Ventures
Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Michael E. Kisber
FTN Financial

Mr. James D. Lackie
Rhyton Capital Management LLC
Chief Executive Officer

The Honorable Sheryl H. Lipman
United States Judiciary
United States District Judge

Mr. James Maclin
Maclin Enterprises

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

Mr. David C. Perdue
DS Partners, CEO

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

Mr. Bruce "Kent" Ritchey
Landers Automobile Group
President and CEO

Mr. Harry L. Smith
HNB Partners

Mr. Richard A. Spell
Raymond James and Associates
Managing Director

Mr. Mitchell D. Spurlock
Power Transport and Power Freight, Founder and Chairman
Aqua Chempac, Founder and Chairman Magnolia Paper, President

Mr. John W. Stokes, Jr.
Raymond James and Associates
Vice President

Mr. Fred Towler
International Paper
Vice President, Supply Chain

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

Mr. Michael Ugwueke
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
President and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. James L. Vining
Vining Sparks IBG
Chairman Emeritus

Mr. David Wedaman
Re Trans Inc.

Mr. Craig Weiss
Tower Ventures

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

Dr. Thomas G. Carpenter
University President, Emeritus

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