May 2016 Commencement

May 7, 2016 - The University of Memphis held its spring Commencement Saturday, May 7, in two ceremonies at FedExForum. The University conferred a total of 2,416 degrees, including 57 doctorates.

During the 10 a.m. ceremony, students from the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Communication and Fine Arts and University College received degrees. At the 2:30 p.m. session, degrees were awarded to students from the Fogelman College of Business & Economics, Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality & Resort Management, College of Education, School of Health Studies, Herff College of Engineering, Loewenberg College of Nursing, School of Public Health and School of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

The featured speaker for both ceremonies was Terri Lee Freeman, president of the National Civil Rights Museum. Freeman, who was named president in 2014, is responsible for providing strategic leadership in furthering the museum's mission as an educational and cultural institution. Her goals include establishing the museum as the new "public square" for dialogue around civil and human rights; providing a safe space for people to exchange and learn; and becoming an institutional center for the promotion of non-violence, social justice and equity.

For 18 years, Freeman served as president of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, the largest funder of nonprofit organizations in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. Under her leadership, the foundation increased its assets from $52 million to more than $350 million. Freeman distinguished herself for her community building, her role in creating community consensus and her leadership on issues critical to improving quality of life.

Gabrielle Maxey