Alumni Spotlight: Ed Stanton
Ed Stanton, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, relates his experience
as an alumnus of the Emerging Leaders program.
I grew up in the public schools of Memphis. When I graduated from Central High School, the University’s new and exciting Emerging
Leaders Program provided an excellent way for me to further my education at my hometown
university. Between the scholarship component and the opportunity to engage in intensive leadership
training with a diverse and similarly motivated group of students, the decision was
an easy one.
The Emerging Leaders curriculum focused not just on obtaining the knowledge necessary
to succeed, but was also geared toward developing real-world leadership skills. Through the program I was able to interact and learn from an extremely talented and
diverse group of classmates, not to mention some of the University’s best professors. The invaluable instructions and lessons learned from Emerging Leaders professors
such as former Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Don Carson, had a tremendous
impact in my college development and leadership training. The program also fostered my involvement on campus, where I held leadership positions
in a number of organizations such as the Student Government Association, the Black
Students Association and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. These activities gave me the opportunity to put into action what I was learning in
The coursework and leadership experiences I had at the University of Memphis gave
me the confidence to set my sights high in my career and my community. I have sought to apply the lessons I learned as a student over and over in my professional
and community activities. In fact, I utilize many of these skills every day as United States Attorney. More than anything, the program reinforced my belief that any effective leader has
to act with character, integrity, vision and courage.
A former mentor once told me, “Lead, or be led.” If I had one piece of advice to pass on to the current participants in the Emerging
Leaders program, that would be it. I found my time at the University to be truly rewarding, and I encourage current
students to get the most out of their experience by actively engaging in the campus
and the community.