UofM Honors Kemmons Wilson Family with Prestigious Cornerstone Award

November 14, 2018 - The University of Memphis recently honored the Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation with the University's prestigious Cornerstone Award. The Cornerstone Award is the University's highest philanthropic honor, reserved for individuals and families whose giving has been transformational for the University.

The Wilson family has a longstanding history of philanthropic giving to the UofM. Kemmons Wilson Sr. made his first gift in 1968, and since then, the family has continued to support numerous programs on campus. Most significantly, the construction of the University of Memphis Holiday Inn and the establishment of the Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality & Resort Management. In addition, the Wilsons have supported other notable initiatives, including student scholarships and capital projects such as the Community Health Building, the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and the Time to Shine campaign.

"We are grateful for the remarkable generosity of the Wilson family throughout the years," said UofM President M. David Rudd. "The impact of the Wilsons will be felt at the University of Memphis and across Memphis for decades to come."

On Oct. 24, the Wilson family, along with faculty and staff members from the Wilson School and University administration, gathered at the UofM to celebrate the Wilsons' philanthropic support. The Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation was added to the Cornerstone Award plaque located under the University's clock tower, a landmark on campus.

"Today, the Wilson School is one of the University's fastest growing programs," said Joanna Curtis, interim chief development officer. "In the past four years, enrollment has grown by almost 200 percent, in no small part because of the support of the Wilson Family Foundation."

In accepting the award on behalf of his family, Kem Wilson Jr., who is a member of the University's Board of Visitors, reflected on his family's long relationship with the UofM. "My dad didn't go to college, so he adopted the UofM as his university, and the Wilson School at the UofM was the legacy he wanted to leave."

The Wilson Family is the first Cornerstone Award recipient recognized this year. Past Cornerstone Award recipients include Martha and Robert F. Fogelman, Wendy and Avron B. Fogelman, and Honey and Rudi E. Scheidt.