University of Memphis

University of Memphis

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The University of Memphis, in Memphis, Tennessee, is a coeducational institution of higher learning.The history of the university began in the early 20th century. The official school colors of royal blue and gray were selected by the students in the first classes.Between 1912 and 1925, the Desoto yearbook was created, the first library was opened in the Administration Building, the first dining hall was built, and the first men's dormitory, Scates Hall, was built.Scates Hall now is occupied by the College of Arts and Sciences' Dean's offices.The Normal School became West Tennessee State Teachers College, in 1925. Brister.The Tiger Rag, a campus newspaper, was started by the students, in 1931. The college changed its name again in 1941, to Memphis State College.Graduate studies were initiated in 1950, and in 1954, the school switched from a quarter to a semester system.In 1957, the State Legislature elevated Memphis to full university status.The first doctoral programs began in 1966, and under the presidency Cecil C. Humphreys, new buildings were constructed across campus, including a University Center and a 12-story library.In 1983, Memphis State College became the first public university in Tennessee to receive accreditation for its entire curriculum.The university witnessed another name change and another building boom during the next decade. In 1994, the university changed its name to the current moniker, the University of Memphis.Today, the University of Memphis is one of Tennessee's three comprehensive doctoral-extensive institutions of higher learning.Although training teachers remains a major part of the university’s mission, the University of Memphis awards more than 3,000 world-recognized programs in diverse disciplines.Its academic programs are organized into the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law; College of Arts and Sciences; College of Communication and Fine Arts; College of Education; Fogelman College of Business and Economics; Graduate School; Herff College of Engineering; Loewenberg School of Nursing; School of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology; and University College.

Memphis Tigers men's basketball

The Memphis Tigers men's basketball team represents the University of Memphis in NCAA Division I men's college basketball. The Tigers have competed in the American Athletic Conference since 2013. As of 2020, the Tigers had the 26th highest winning percentage in NCAA history. [2] While the Tigers have an on-campus arena, Elma Roane Fieldhouse (which is still the primary home for Tigers women's basketball), the team's local popularity is such that it has played home games off campus since the mid-1960s. The Tigers moved to the Mid-South Coliseum at the Memphis Fairgrounds in 1966, and then to downtown Memphis at The Pyramid, initially built for the team in 1991 and later home to the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies. In 2004, the Grizzlies and Tigers moved together to another downtown venue, FedExForum. ESPN Stats and Information Department ranked Memphis as the 19th most successful basketball program from 1962 to 2012 in their annual 50 in 50 list. [3]

The college resulted from the 2000 merger between two institutions, the former Shelby State Community College and the former State Technical Institute at Memphis ("STIM"). Nathan Essex, the school's founding president, announced in 2014 that he would retire the next summer. [1]

The merger was an attempt to reduce the overhead of maintaining two separate institutional managements and a recognition of the increasing convergence of academic and technical education. It also has made credits earned at the former Technical Institute more readily transferable to other institutions of higher learning, which was an additional goal of the merger. Southwest is one of the largest two-year colleges operated by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Southwest Tennessee Community College is a comprehensive, multicultural, public, open-access college. Southwest is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

  • Dr. Charles M. Temple (president, State Technical institute at Memphis, 1983-1995)
  • Dr. M. Douglas Call (president, Shelby State Community college-2000)
  • Dr. Nathan Essex (president 2001-2015)
  • Dr. Tracy D. Hall (president 2015–present)

Southwest has several campuses and centers. These include:

  • Macon Cove Campus- located in Northeast Memphis
  • Union Avenue Campus- located in Downtown Memphis
  • Gill Center- located in Frayser Center- located in Southeast Memphis
  • Millington Center- located in Millington, Tennessee
  • Whitehaven Center- located in Whitehaven

The college maintains collegiate sports teams in the following sports:

  • Men's Basketball
  • Women's Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Women's Soccer
  • Cheerleading

Both basketball teams have a winning tradition and regularly advance to the national tournaments. Basketball games are played at the Verties Sails Gymnasium on the Union Avenue Campus.

The Saluqi's baseball program plays at USA Stadium in Millington, Tennessee.

Program Admission

In making our decisions on admission we consider multiple factors, including transcripts and GPA, the nature of your coursework, recommendations, your writing sample and statement, your MAT or GRE scores (particularly the GRE Verbal and Analytical Writing sections), and the compatibility of our program and faculty with your interests.

In most cases, you will need 18 hours in history from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0 PGA (on a 4.0 scale) in all undergraduate history courses, although we may also consider coursework in related fields.

In addition to submitting your application and all transcripts to the Graduate School, you should submit the following, the first to the Graduate School and the rest to the History Department:

  1. Official scores from the MAT or from the GRE (which should include the Analytical Writing section).
  2. Two letters of recommendation evaluating your academic ability.
  3. A writing sample, such as a paper from a course, that demonstrates your ability to write and think about history.
  4. A letter from you explaining your major field(s) of interest in history (chosen from the list of PhD fields below), any particular interests, and your reasons for seeking the MA degree.

Program Requirements

  1. A total of 33 hours. For the student electing to write a thesis, this includes 9 hours of thesis credit. No more than 9 hours of thesis credit may count toward the degree.
  2. Only 6 hours of coursework at the 6000 level may count toward the degree, although we may accept 9 hours in special circumstances by petition to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.
  3. At least one 7000-level historiography course in any field and at least one HIST 7070   .
  4. Only 3 hours can be HIST 7012   , although we may accept 6 hours in special circumstances by petition to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies. HIST 7991   does not count toward the degree.
  5. No more than 6 hours may be taken, with the approval of the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, in a field outside history. Under special circumstances students may petition for up to an additional 6 hours.
  6. No more than 24 hours may be taken in United States History, European History, or any one field of history, such as Ancient History.
  7. A student who makes a grade of C+ or lower in six credits or more hours of course work will be dropped from the MA program, except under exceptional circumstances. No grade of C+ or lower may count toward the required number of credits.
  8. An oral Comprehensive Examination over course work given by a committee chosen by the Graduate Advisor and the student. Online only students take a written exam instead.
  9. For those who elect to write a thesis, approval by a department committee headed by the faculty member who directed the thesis. All theses are based upon primary research and are typically between 16,000 and 25,000 words in length. NOTE: Students electing to write a thesis should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before starting to write.

Foreign Language

All students whose major field is not in U.S. history must demonstrate reading proficiency in one foreign language, whenever possible one directly related to the dissertation field. Proficiency consists of acceptably translating a selection from a historical work or source. The advisory committee may require the student to demonstrate reading knowledge in two or more foreign languages. It will be up to the advisory committee to determine whether students in U.S. history must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language.

When the University of Memphis Almost Became the University of Tennessee

photo from 1951 "DeSoto" yearbook

Well, the big news lately is that the University of Memphis is now a member of the Big East, so that should make Tiger fans happy — for a while.

But over the years, it seems the university has always strived to be part of greater things, and one of the strangest incidents in its 100-year history took place back in 1951, when Memphis State College — as it was called at the time — almost became the University of Tennessee. "MSC" would have changed to "UTAM" — which just sounds odd to me.

The whole story is told in the school's 1951 DeSoto yearbook, and for some reason the editors chose to illustrate this section with the curious photo shown here — students pushing a broken-down jalopy through the entrace gates. I suppose it's some kind of symbolism that escapes me, at the moment. At any rate, here's how they described the whole fiasco:

"Legislators Prevent University" was the headline, and the yearbook story went like this: "Efforts of educators and civic leaders to elevate MSC to university status met sudden death on the Senate floor of the Tennessee legislature.

"The proposal began in Shelby County by the work of civic leaders and the college administrators. The plan was to incorporate MCS in the University of Tennessee . and called for three colleges: Business Administration, Education, and Liberal Arts. On November 6th, a special UT faculty committee visited the state campus and 'approved in principle the idea of inaugurating Memphis State into the UT system.'

"The proposal was supported by Mayor Rowlett Payne and Senator T. Robert Acklin, as well as the Memphis branch of the UT alumni association. The Board of Trustees of the university at Knoxville, as well as Dr. C.E. Brehm, president, gave their full approval. 'Making Memphis State College a part of the University of Tennessee involves no changes in the organizational set-up in the colleges at Knoxville or the medical units at Memphis or other parts of the university,' said Brehm.

Not everyone agreed, obviously.

"The major opposition came from East Tennessee political factions. The civic organizations of Knoxville were able to sway the vote against the Shelby County delegation. As the MSC student body listened to the proceedings, they heard almost three years' work die in 15 minutes of political argument on the Senate floor."

So what happened? The yearbook named several scapegoats. Among them: former UT president Dr. Hoskins (they didn't even give his first name), who begged legislators, "Please don't split my school," and UT Trustee Sam McAlister, who argued that the plan would "weaken the parent university at Knoxville." He didn't explain how, exactly, it would do that.

Those seem like pretty lame excuses to me, but the legislators voted it down, and Memphis State remained Memphis State, though it did finally attain university status without the help of UT. Looking back on it, maybe it was for the better. It was never clear if Memphis State would have been placed on an equal footing with UT-Knoxville, or if the school here would have been more like UT-Martin or UT-Chattanooga — a "little brother" to the big guy in Knoxville

Anyway, I thought I'd share that with you. Sometimes old yearbooks tell you more than the name of the homecoming queen or the football team's wins and losses.

Vance Lauderdale

Vance Lauderdale is the history columnist for Memphis magazine and Inside Memphis Business. His dramatic life story is so well-known that schoolchildren are taught to recite it for extra credit.

University of Memphis - History

Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity

We believe in Lambda Chi Alpha, and its traditions, principles and ideals. The crescent is our symbol pure, high, ever growing, and the cross is our guide denoting service, sacrifice, and even suffering and humiliation before the world, bravely endured if need be, in following that ideal.

May we have faith in Lambda Chi Alpha and passion for its welfare. May we have hope for the future of Lambda Chi Alpha and strength to fight for its teachings. May we have pure hearts that we may approach the ideal of perfect brotherly love.

A Brief History of our Chapter

Following World War II, Memphis State University experienced rapid growth due to the influx of returning veterans. Nearly all campus fraternities had been forced to shut down during the war years because all the college age men had gone to war. During the early part of 1944, the Triangle Club was formed on the Memphis State Campus. Although only one of the members of this club was still in school when the Triangle Club became Lambda Chi Alpha (John Hardy, ΖΘ10), the club was the direct ancestor of this fraternity.

In 1945, it was felt that the organization needed to become a Greek letter organization. The Triangle Club became the local fraternity Delta Sigma Chi. This local fraternity soon became tops on the MSU campus.

With their success, the men of Delta Sigma Chi decided to affiliate with a national fraternity and through the efforts of Lew Callow (T16) Delta Sigma Chi was installed as a colony of Lambda Chi Alpha on May 22, 1948 by Epsilon Chi Zeta at Mississippi State. The first president of the new colony was Richard Bauer(ΖΘ1) and Barbara Jo Walker, Miss America 1947, was the first Sweetheart. On May 21, 1949, Zeta Theta Zeta was installed as a full chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha by Epsilon-Omicron Zeta (University of Tennessee at Knoxville).

In 1960 our chapter fell on hard times. Only through the efforts of the Fearless Thirteen was the chapter saved. Doc Dirghalli (a past Grand High Alpha) led the group back to stability. Because of this, our chapter became known as the Phoenix Chapter.

In January 1961 we moved into our first chapter house on Mynders. Later, an additional house was purchased on Midland, directly behind the house on Mynders. These remained our homes until 1971 when we moved into our second chapter house at 621 Normal. In 1991, we purchased our third chapter house located at 3615 Southern Avenue.

In 1998, due to internal problems like we had in 1981, we lost our charter for the second time.

In 2002 we came back to the U of M campus with a new colony of men, who are now leading the fraternity back to a rapid recovery. It is with this fresh pioneering spirit that Zeta Theta Zeta continues to excel. We have now moved into new chapter houses at 3605 and 3609 Watauga.

University of Memphis

Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

University of Memphis, public, coeducational institution of higher learning in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. It is part of the State University and Community College System of Tennessee and offers a comprehensive selection of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs. The university includes a graduate school, law school, nursing school, university college, a school of audiology and speech-language pathology, and colleges of arts and sciences, business and economics, communication and fine arts, education, and engineering. At the graduate level it offers master’s degrees in about 45 major disciplines. It operates research units in such areas as ecology, business and economics, education, Egyptian art and archaeology, electron microscopy, gambling, and earthquakes. Student enrollment is about 20,000.

State legislation passed in 1909 authorized the establishment of the school, which was founded in 1912 as West Tennessee State Normal School. It became a college in 1929, was renamed Memphis State College in 1941, and achieved university standing in 1957. It acquired its present name in 1994. The graduate school was added in 1951, and the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law was opened in 1962.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.


The building, which has an address of 1 North Front Street, sits just west of Court Square, Memphis. The building's location on a natural bluff overlooking the Mississippi River affords it magnificent westerly views of the river, including Mud Island, and Arkansas. Because of its location on a natural promontory, the building was not affected by the 2011 Mississippi River floods.

The building was built originally in the 1880s to house the U.S. Customs House, but it provided space for several other federal offices. Locally, it became known as the "Customs House." Over the following one hundred years, the U.S. federal building served many purposes, including as the federal courthouse, customs house, and post office. The building underwent a large expansion in 1929–1930, creating new a new facade on Front Street.

After extensive award-winning renovations, [5] in 2010 the building became home to the University of Memphis, School of Law. As such, it houses the University of Memphis Law Review offices, as well as the University of Memphis, Legal Aid Clinic.

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