Board of Visitors

In 1989, a group of prominent Memphis business and community leaders, led by Robert Fogelman, formed a board to guide the president of The University of Memphis in attaining excellence and national recognition for the University. This group, known as the Board of Visitors (BOV), was the first of its kind in the state. They were charged with raising the University's national stature and enhancing the school's relationship with the local community.

Among its activities, the BOV works to enhance the image of the University and was supportive of the successful name change to the University of Memphis in 1994. It also was actively involved in the selection of the last two presidents. In addition, the BOV sponsors the Eminent Faculty Award that encourages excellence in research, teaching and outreach. This prestigious award, that comes with a $20,000 stipend completely funded by the BOV, was renamed in 2006 as the Willard R. Sparks Eminent Faculty Award after former Chairman Willard Sparks. In 1999 the board was restructured and began assisting the University in the areas of programs, fundraising and strategic planning. The full board meets twice each year in addition to committee meetings.

BOV Officers

Honorary Visitors

Laurie Tucker

Vice Chair
The Honorable Sheri Lipman

James Maclin


The Honorable Jim Strickland
City of Memphis, Mayor

BOV Members


Michael Bruns
Bruns Holdings, Owner

Benjamin C. Bryant, Jr.
University of Memphis | Crews Center for Entrepreneurship, Executive in Residence

Pace D. Cooper
Cooper Hotels, President & CEO

Hilliard R. Crews, Jr.
Shelby Group International Inc., Chairman

Richard L. Fogelman
Fogelman Properties, CEO

Dr. Paul Green
University of Memphis, Psychologist & Adjunct Professor

Willie H. Gregory, Sr.
Nike Inc., Director Global Community Impact

Helen S. Gronauer
Shelby Ventures LLC

Dr. Bill Hardgrave
President, University of Memphis

Carolyn C. Hardy
Chism Hardy Investments LLC, President & CEO

Reid Hedgepeth
Hedgepeth Construction, Owner

Donald Hutson
U.S. Learning, Chairman & CEO

Karen Fields Isaacman
Armstrong Relocation, Co-Chairman

Larry Jensen
Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors, President & CEO

George T. Johnson
BJB Administrative Services LLC, President

Elise L. Jordan
FedEx Express, Sr. Vice President & CFO

Mike Keeney
Attorney, Lewis Thomason

Michael E. Kisber
FTN Financial, President

Wes Kraker
Pathmark Transportation, President

James D. Lackie
River Street Management, CEO

Pierre Landaiche
CEO, UMRF Ventures, Inc.

The Honorable Sheryl H. Lipman
United States Judiciary, United States District Judge

Mark Luttrell
Former County Mayor

James Maclin
Maclin Enterprises, Principal & Consultant

Karimeh McDaniel
President, UofM Alumni Association

William “Bill” Morris

Billy Orgel
Tower Ventures, President & CEO

David C. Perdue
DS Partners, CEO

Elliot Perry

Bruce "Kent" Ritchey
Landers Automobile Group, President & CEO

Beverly Robertson

Elkan Scheidt
Shelby Ventures, LLC, Principal

Harry L. Smith
HNB Partners

Richard A. Spell
Founder, Spell Restaurant Group and CEO/Majority Owner of MidSouth PICCs

Mitchell D. Spurlock
Power Transport and Power Freight, Founder & Chairman;
Aqua Chempac, Founder & Chairman;
Magnolia Paper, President

David Tate
Signet, Inc., President/COO

Fred Towler
International Paper, Vice President, Supply Chain

Laurie A. Tucker
Calade Partners LLC, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer

Michael Ugwueke
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, President & CEO

John Webb
Cigna, TriSouth Market President

David Wedaman
Re Trans Inc., President

Craig Weiss
Tower Ventures, VP-Partner & CEO

C. Kemmons Wilson, Jr.
Kemmons Wilson Companies, Principal

In Memoriam

Robert F. Fogelman
Fogelman Investment Company
Founding BOV Chairman

Robert Fogelman was a lifetime member of the UofM Alumni Association and was named a Distinguished Friend of the University in 1987. The UofM presented him with an honorary doctorate of letters in 2012. The UofM Foundation Board appointed Fogelman an Emeritus Lifetime Foundation Board member in 2019. Click here to learn more about his love and legacy for the University of Memphis.