December 2019 Commencement Honorary Degree Recipient - Dr. Michael J Spalding
Michael Spalding M. D., Founder of Equal Chance for Education
Dr. Michael Spalding was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky and attended Washington and Lee University on a scholarship and then received his MD degree from University of Virginia. After his residency at Vanderbilt and two years as lieutenant commander and general surgeon at the US Naval Base in Guantano Bay, he entered into private practice in urology for 37 years. He has served multiple boards including President of The Kidney Foundation, Cancer Society, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, Lea Rose, Cumberland University and is also a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Upon retirement Dr. Spalding founded Equal Chance for Education (ECE), a scholarship program for undocumented immigrants in Nashville TN after he saw a family friend denied equitable access to higher education. Six years ago in January, ECE was founded with 2 students and currently supports 306 ECE scholars statewide distributing $1.4 million annually in scholarships. Currently 58 ECE scholars attend the University of Memphis and ECE plans to continue to enroll students at U of M and is grateful for their partnership over the past 3 years. Dr. Spalding is married to his wife Mary and has 2 daughters, Alice (Nick) and Ashley (Brendan), 3 grandchildren; Brendon, Michael, and Helen.