As the U of M prepares for its historic centennial celebration in 2012, we will be
taking a look back at events leading up to our 100th anniversary. Below, the origins
of the Campus School.
Campus School was established as the Training School in 1912 in connection with the
West Tennessee State Normal School (the University of Memphis’ first name) so that
University students could gain practical teaching experience under the direction of
The Training School was originally located in the Administration Building under the
supervision of the head of the Department of Education and served as an “adequate
working laboratory in which the prospective teacher may gain actual experience and
scientific knowledge in the art of teaching,” which was very much supported and expanded
by the University’s third president, Dr. Andrew Kincannon, who served from 1918 to
In the fall of 1919, realizing that the growth of the institution demanded larger
facilities, the demonstration school was enlarged from first through third grades
to encompass the first six grades. The 1923 enrollment reached a total of 162 pupils.
Training School pupils in grades first through sixth on the steps
of the Administration Building in 1923.
A new demonstration school building was to be erected on campus, adjoining the Administration
Building. This measure had been passed by the County Court of Shelby County and approved
by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee. Construction began in 1921 and
was paid for with a combined gift of $80,000: $30,000 from the City of Memphis and
$50,000 from Shelby County.
In 1924, on the U of M campus, Shelby County and State Boards of Education completed
a new demonstration school, placed under the management of the University.
The Training School was incorporated into Memphis City Schools in 1930, and the MCS
Board of Education joined the State Board of Education to help finance the Training
As of 1941, it was a one-story building that contained offices, classrooms, an auditorium
and “open courts” for the children.
Relocated to its current facilities in 1963, the Training School had its name officially
changed to the MSU Campus School. In 1994, Memphis State University changed its name
to The University of Memphis; therefore, the school became The University of Memphis
(Information compiled from the Campus School handbook, 1923 DeSoto yearbook and June 1941 Memphis State College Bulletin with assistance from history research assistant Frances Wright Breland.)
Rendering by Mahon and Broadwell Architects of the first demonstration
school on campus in 1924.