On September 30, 2013 several of the biggest names in business visited the Fogelman
College to attend a ceremony that would formally honor and induct them into the inaugural
group of FCBE’s Investors in Excellence.
The Investors in Excellence are an elite group of Fogelman College supporters that
have exhibited tremendous influence on increasing the business school’s enrollment,
implementing dynamic new programs, expanding financial support to students and faculty,
and building mutually beneficial connections between the University and the Memphis
The individuals recognized as Investors in Excellence included: Robert F. Fogelman;
Avron B. Fogelman; interim University of Memphis President, Brad Martin; Chairman
of the FCBE Advisory Board, Larry Papasan; David and Eloise Kimmelman; Morgan Morton;
George Johnson; Willard Sparks; Kemmons Wilson, Sr.; Laurie Tucker; Bill Watkins;
and, Dan Palmer.
2013 Investors in Excellence (from left to right): Avron B. Fogelman, George Johnson,
Bill Watkins, Kemmons Wilson, Jr (receiving award on behalf of Kemmons Wilson, Sr.),
Laurie Tucker, Larry Papasan, Saunders Morgan Morton, Rita Sparks & Jim McFarland
(receiving award on behalf of Willard Sparks), Brad Martin. Not pictured: Dan Palmer
and David & Eloise Kimmelman
As a testament to these individuals’ tremendous generosity, twelve representatives
were invited to speak on behalf of the honorees. Over the years, many of the Investors
in Excellence have contributed significant resources, both in commitments of time
and money, to launch programs to improve experiences for FCBE students, faculty and
staff. As a nod to the widespread effects of the Investors’ generosity, the representatives
told personal stories about how they had directly benefited from the honorees’ gifts.
Each one of the representatives shared a heartfelt story about how the Investors in
Excellence had improved their lives. The representatives included: Dr. Chuck Pierce,
Andre Baird, Dr. Christine Jiang, Ravyn Patton, Austin Eharat, Janelle Arguijo, Annette
Webb, Dr. Irvin Tankersley, Tiffany Askew, Cassondra Thomas, Autumn McGhee and Dr.
Ben Kedia. In addition to their testimonies, the representatives revealed the honoree’s
photos that are displayed on the wall itself, and presented the honorees with awards
to commemorate this distinction.
Bill Watkins responded on behalf of the twelve Investors in Excellence. He sincerely
thanked Dean Grover and the College of Business for the honor. He also spoke about
the importance of continuously giving back. He urged his colleagues to continue to
support the Fogelman College because of its role as an essential part of the Memphis
The Investors in Excellence wall, which is hung on the first floor of the FCBE classroom
building, is a permanent structure intended to honor these twelve influential supporters.
Additionally, this group was spotlighted earlier this year in the annual Fogelman
Focus magazine. To learn more about each of the Investors in Excellence, please click here.
To watch a video of the event, please click here.
For photos of the event, please visit the U of M's flickr website.