Giving Societies

centennial circleCentennial Circle

The Centennial Circle recognizes individuals, corporations, foundations, and organizations whose cumulative giving to the University of Memphis totals $25,000 or more, including annual gifts, gifts to endowments, capital projects, and planned gifts.  To view photos from the 2017 Centennial Circle Induction Ceremony click here.  The Centennial Circle is composed of three societies:

Mynders Society - $1,000,000 or more lifetime giving

The Mynders Society, formerly known as the University Fellows, recognizes lifetime giving to the University of $1,000,000 or more. It is named for Seymour Mynders, the first president of the West Tennessee Normal School, which later became the University of Memphis. Mynders Hall was one of the two original buildings on campus, along with the Administration Building.

Brister Society - $100,000 to $999,999 lifetime giving

The Brister Society, formerly the Benefactor's Circle, is named for J. Willard Brister, the second president of the Normal School. The Brister Society recognizes lifetime giving of $100,000-$999,999. Brister Hall, originally Brister Library, was constructed in 1927 and named for President Brister's son.

Manning Society - $25,000 to $99,999 lifetime giving

The Manning Society is named for Professor Priestley Hartwell Manning, who joined the faculty with the school's opening in 1912. Sixteen years later, he bequeathed the bulk of his estate to establish a scholarship fund. The Manning Society recognizes lifetime giving of $25,000 - $99,999. Manning Hall, built in 1928, is named for him.

Johnson Williams Society imageJohnson Williams Society

The Johnson-Williams Society is a prestigious giving society that recognizes donors who have endowed scholarship funds established with a commitment of at least $75,000. This giving society is named for Dr. Lilian Johnson and Mable C. Williams, two members from Nineteenth Century Club in the early 1900s, who after initially proposing a plan for a four-year women’s college, alternatively spearheaded the establishment of the West Tennessee Normal School in 1912, which we now know as The University of Memphis. 

president societyPresident's Society

The President's Society recognizes donors who have demonstrated their leadership and support by making an annual gift of $1,000 or more to support academic initiatives. 

blue and grayBlue and Gray Circle

The Blue and Grey Circle recognizes regular giving to the University. Building and stewarding a committed group of Annual Fund supporters is also key to maintaining a solid financial foundation for the UofM. For this reason, we recognize and celebrate the donors loyal in their support of the University of Memphis's academic initiatives. Donors who make an annual gift for five or more consecutive years.

The Columns SocietyThe Columns Society

The Columns Society recognizes the generosity of alumni and friends who have made provisions for the University of Memphis through any one of a variety of estate planning options, including bequests, charitable trusts, charitable gift annuities or gifts of life insurance.


For more information about giving societies, contact the Office of Development at 901.678.3951.