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FCBE Hosts Inaugural Investors in Excellence Induction Ceremony

For release:  October 10, 2013

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 community.

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
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 community.

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.

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Last Updated: 10/10/13