exclusive updates on the empowering the dream centennial campaign SUMMER 2012
Wei and Isabel Chen: Pursuing a Dream page 4
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Wei and Isabel Chen:
Pursuing a Dream
Promoting Good Nutrition From Day One
Committed to the Student-Athlete
Support for Students • Endowed scholarships for undergraduate students: $22 million • Endowed fellowships and assistantships for graduate students: $40 million • Annual operating support: $6 million Support for Faculty • Endowed professorships and chairs: $46 million • Faculty development and research support: $36 million Support for Facilities • Downtown Law School building: $12 million • New Nursing and School of Communication Sciences and Disorders building: $18 million • New Music center: $40 million • Alumni center: $10 million • New and expanded Athletic facilities: $20 million As the University of Memphis moves into our second century, we will strive to have an even greater impact through our commitment to:
Jay and Maureen Myers:
Inspired by Experience
• Respond to business leaders by educating a prepared, informed workforce for tomorrow. • Create new programs to enhance co-curricular and student academic activities.
A Profile in Perseverance
The University of Memphis has launched the most ambitious campaign in its history. With a goal of $250 million, the Empowering the Dream Centennial Campaign will build endowment to attract and retain world-class faculty and talented students, add new buildings and establish crucial program support for strategic areas of study.
• Create a 21st-century campus environment featuring facilities relevant to student learning, research and community engagement. • Attract high-caliber students, and recruit and retain preeminent faculty, creative teachers and skilled researchers to address critical societal issues. • Provide financial support to ensure student success through endowed undergraduate scholarships and endowed graduate fellowships. • Promote faculty excellence in teaching, research and service through the creation of 100 endowed professorships. • Encourage students and faculty to cultivate engaged partnerships for sharing knowledge and serving people in our community and beyond.
A MESSAGE FROM DR. SHIRLEY C. RAINES As we move into the final year of the $250 million Empowering the Dream Centennial Campaign, our momentum is strong. Our donors have demonstrated their support of this historic effort with commitments in excess of $205 million. Their gifts have enabled the University to provide financial support for high-achieving students studying disciplines as varied as violin studies and teacher education, to recognize outstanding faculty through prestigious professorships in engineering and math, and to beautifully renovate facilities like the Downtown Law School and the Crews Ventures Lab. These are just a few of many gifts that make a profound impact at our University and in the community. A top priority moving forward is to raise additional funds to construct three signature buildings that are integral to our campus master plan and which will be impactful to the community. Every dollar directed toward these buildings will result in an additional three dollars from the state; this is a wise investment in facilities that will bring about significant economic, workforce and societal development for our entire region. We will focus on this timely opportunity to secure the necessary funding
to complete these facilities that are so crucial to our educational mission and to our community. The Community Health Building will house the Loewenberg School of Nursing and the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Currently, nursing students are taught in nine different buildings across campus, and there is a waiting list of almost 100 qualified applicants due to space limitations. Conservative estimates indicate that the additional 100 nurses will generate an extra $9 million annually for the Memphis and West Tennessee economy. The 65,000-square-foot biochemistry and biology research building will be entirely devoted to research and lab space for the life sciences. The building will enhance the University’s ability to recruit and retain talented researchers who are pursuing innovative and rigorous research related to Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, tissue and bone regeneration and associated biodevices, and addiction modeling, just to name a few areas. Positioned as the new “front door” to campus off of Highland Avenue, the
new 200,000-square-foot Music Center will house the world-class Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. The current facility that was built in 1967 to accommodate 250 students now serves over 500 students. The new building will allow the School of Music to provide the finest performance opportunities and spaces for students and engage the community in cultural experiences that promote the appreciation of music.
I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the individuals on the following pages who have made the conscious decision to make education their legacy. Sincerely,
Shirley C. Raines President
TRACKING our PROGRESS Thanks to 130 committed volunteer leaders and thousands of generous alumni and friends, more than $205 million has been secured. This represents an impressive 82% toward the $250 million Empowering the Dream Campaign goal.
Pursuing a Dream An Interview with Wei and Isabel Chen
Not too long ago, Wei and Isabel Chen were driving in East Memphis when Wei spotted a Chinese restaurant. “That’s the place,” he told Isabel. “That’s where I worked as a delivery man for $8 an hour.” In the 15 years that have passed since he worked there, life has changed significantly for the Chens. And the University of Memphis has had a role in that transformation. The Chens, born in China, actually met in Memphis in 1996 when they both happened to attend a welcoming party for new University of Memphis students. It was through a scholarship program for foreign students that the Chens were able to attend
EMPOWER: SUMMER 2012
the University. “The scholarships allowed us both to pursue our dreams,” Wei Chen explains, describing the experience as “life-changing.” “I think we are very blessed with what we got from the University,” he says. Soon after he graduated, the couple was married, and he found himself, at age 27, starting a company, “against all odds, with no money and no history.” For the first three years, when his business was getting started, he traveled and worked a lot, sometimes seven days a week. He remembers that he actually skipped lunch for about two years because he was constantly busy. But his philosophy helped him through tough times. “If you have a dream,” he says, “and you work hard at it, anything is possible.” The company he started was Sunshine Enterprises, a wholesaler and distributor of Chinese construction and industrial equipment in North America. And now the couple is giving back to the U of M in a significant way with the Sunshine Enterprises Scholarship Program in the Fogelman College of Business & Economics. The program provides
“It’s great to be able to create a business, but we also have to remember where we came from, who helped us [along the way], and how we can give back.” scholarships for international MBA students. Mr. Chen graduated from the International MBA program in 1998. Wei Chen’s wife (Dr. Zhaohui Xu “Isabel”) has the following degrees from the U of M: a Master of Science, earned in 1998, and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, which she received in 2002. The University motto of Dreamers. Thinkers. Doers. is not lost on the Chens. “It’s great to be able to create a business,” Wei Chen explains, “but we also have to remember where we came from, who helped us [along the way], and how we can give back.” He says that choosing the University as the recipient of a gift was an easy choice. When asked how he would advise today’s students on how to become successful, he doesn’t hesitate. “Don’t be afraid of making mistakes,” this entrepreneur says. “You learn from making mistakes. I learned, adapted and changed course(s) when I had to.” Another key to success, he finds, is having a passion for what you’re doing. “When you have that passion, the work itself becomes part of what you enjoy doing,” he explains.
DID YOU KNOW? A dedicated focus on cultural immersion sets our International MBA program apart from other programs. Our students spend up to seven months enrolled in a reputed university in another country for a study abroad experience, followed by a semester-long internship. This experience expands their cultural knowledge and prepares our students to be global citizens.
PROMOTING GOOD NUTRITION FROM DAY ONE An Interview with Garland Smith, in memory of Dr. Mary Ann Harvey Smith
It’s amazing when you think about it — how one person can touch so many lives. Take Dr. Mary Ann Harvey Smith, for example. In college, she majored in home economics because, in those days, that was the only department where she could pursue her real interest — the study of nutrition. Now, decades later, the Mary Ann Smith Endowed Scholarship in Clinical Nutrition has been established in her memory at the University of Memphis. “We established the scholarship to point out her interest and longtime work in promoting good nutrition not just for children but for adults as well,” says her widower, Garland Smith. Until now, he explains, there was no scholarship for the final semester of work in the University’s master’s program in Clinical Nutrition. “We want to provide as much help as possible to people who have an interest in promoting good nutrition.” Dr. Smith established the Clinical Nutrition program years ago when she was head of the nutrition department at the Child Development Center at the University of Tennessee. After working there for 20 years, she helped move the program to the U of M. Garland Smith points out that his wife’s work at the CDC included an important new procedure. She was instrumental in the effort to have the state require newborn screening for PKU within two weeks of birth. “Her work still affects every newborn baby in Tennessee,” he says.
PKU stands for Phenylketonuria, an inborn error of metabolism that prevents newborns from utilizing several dietary proteins. “These proteins can build up and become toxic in the nervous system,” Garland Smith says. This rare genetic disorder can also cause developmental disabilities, but babies who are diagnosed early can be put on a special diet and live a normal life. Garland Smith recalls that his wife’s first patient was a little girl who was treated for PKU and grew up to be healthy and strong. She even had an IQ of 140.
Dr. Smith’s example made an impact on many people — even one close to home. It was the couple’s son, Garland Harvey Smith (also known as “Trey”) who, as a child, would accompany his mother to the CDC where he and a young friend would help serve meals to the children and play with them. Today, Trey and his wife, Robin, operate Simple Strokes Therapy, a pediatric therapy group in Southaven, Mississippi, where physical, speech and occupational therapy is provided to children.
We established the scholarship to point out her interest and longtime work in promoting good nutrition not just for children but for adults as well. — Garland Smith He said his wife kept in touch with her until she was an adult. “The girl came in regularly for checkups,” he says. “There were others like her, too.” Dr. Smith also established the Dietetic Internship program while at UT. As a charter member of the Memphis Dietetic Association, she was instrumental in promoting nutrition education at hospitals and nursing homes, where some of her students interned. In 1986, then-Governor Lamar Alexander invited her to serve on a committee to study, develop and promote plans for improving the health and nutrition of Tennesseans.
The couple has two daughters, Chapman Virginia and Anna Powell. Today, Garland Smith speaks of them with the affection and pride that only a grandfather can. After Mary Ann Harvey Smith passed away in 2009, it was said that she “lived a life dedicated to improving the nutrition and health of children and others.” Who knows? Perhaps her example will one day inspire yet another generation.
Basketball’s just a game, right? Calm down. That was only a test. But chances are, if someone were to make such a foolhardy statement, the first person to disagree would be Jeff Roth. And that’s not only because he recently endowed a U of M basketball scholarship. Nor would it simply be that he’s been attending Tiger games since he was 11 years old and knows excitement when he sees it. Jeff Roth recognizes how Tiger basketball has a broad impact on Memphis. He sees the game as part of a bigger picture and is more than happy to explain why. “What the Tiger basketball program brings to the City of Memphis is hard to measure,” he says. “There are, of course, other basketball towns, but you don’t get the feel there that you get in Tiger Nation.” Roth says that Coach Josh Pastner has often commented on the remarkable community support that the city of Memphis provides. “The Tiger basketball team is the community – our community,” he says, “regardless of whether the players are from the Memphis area or not.” “Whether in tough times or not, the Tigers have been the glue, the bond that’s helped us through a lot of struggles. They’ve always been the bright spot,” Roth explains.
COMMITTED to the STUDENT-ATHLETE An Interview with Jeff Roth
“The special commitment that the school has made over the years is also being returned by the players,” he says, pointing to increased graduation rates and GPAs. “It’s very rewarding to know that we can not only impact young men but we can make an impact on their families and the community,” he adds. “So this scholarship is really a two-way privilege. It is a privilege to be able to commit to it. You feel it from the players. Their commitment is here — both on and off the court. That’s part of being a Tiger now.” And there’s another reason for supporting the Tigers. Roth explains that with many types of gifts or donations, the givers often don’t see the immediate results. Not so with the Tigers. “This is a touch-and-feel experience,” he says. “It’s also a lot of fun!” Jeff Roth’s endowment of a basketball scholarship is only one of a variety of ways to contribute to the University of Memphis. Adam G. Walker, director of development/legacy gifts for the U of M Athletics, explains that, besides an endowment, there also are annual gifts, life insurance and bequests.
EMPOWER: SUMMER 2012
Inspired by Experience
It was through her coursework that she discovered she enjoyed sales and the interactions that went with it. “[The experience] helped me when I was away from school and was forming a career.”
Jay worked his way through school but also found time to join a fraternity. When the school’s placement AN INTERVIEW WITH JAY AND MAUREEN MYERS office located a part-time job for him, it was with IBM. Juggling work with For Jay and Maureen Myers, college was a rewarding and classes proved to be beneficial. “I was better prepared when life-changing experience. Now, thanks to their generosity, I got out of college,” he explains. “I knew how to work and decades after they earned degrees at what was then how to balance things.” Memphis State, they will be helping future generations of students to achieve their own goals. He believes it is ideal to combine what you’re learning in the classroom with a practical work experience outside of it. “I think No doubt it was those college experiences and the couple’s that’s what college life should be all about — learning how to be a desire to help deserving students that resulted in the professional and make a living,” he says. establishment of the Myers Family Memorial Scholarship in 2001. The scholarship goes to a business student who is a Sometimes things come full circle. For instance, Jay is proud that rising undergraduate junior or senior who demonstrates a many of the employees he hires to work at his firm just happen to family need. In 2010, Jay decided to secure the scholarship be U of M graduates. The reason is simple: “They know how to in perpetuity by making it into an endowment. work,” he says. The original scholarship was established to honor his late brother and father, Charles J. Myers and Jerome B. Myers, and, later, his brother John, who also passed away. Jay and Maureen speak enthusiastically about their time on campus, and how they came away with invaluable life skills. Jay’s diploma in marketing management was awarded in 1978; Maureen, who studied advertising and public relations, graduated in 1976. Maureen lived in an on-campus dormitory for all four years of school. That experience alone, she says, “really helps you grow up.” She says she made friends at the University who she still sees today, whether they’re visiting at the ballpark or planning tailgating parties.
EMPOWER: SUMMER 2012
A Profile in Perseverance The THEopolis Holeman Interview
“A mature woman on her own, continuing to pursue her dreams...” That’s how Theopolis Holeman describes his late sister, Joyce Holeman Kidd, as she continued what had been an interrupted college education. The description is modest and understated, and Ms. Kidd would no doubt approve. But this was a woman whose accomplishments were nothing short of remarkable — so remarkable that Holeman and his wife, Evelyn, have established a scholarship in her name at the University of Memphis, which they hope will be an inspiration to others. “When she passed away, I was interested in somehow honoring her struggle and legacy,” her brother says. Holeman, who graduated from the University in 1971 with a degree in Engineering Technology, earned the Herff College of Engineering Outstanding Alumni Award
in 2008 and a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2010. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Empowering the Dream Centennial Campaign. The scholarship will be awarded to a first-generation, nontraditional student with financial need. The hope is that people who learn about Ms. Kidd’s story may be inspired and make their own gifts in honor of, or in memory of, someone close to them. Ms. Kidd’s journey was not an easy one. As her brother explains, after she graduated from high school, she spent one semester in college. “But our family was poor; money was tight, and she decided she didn’t want to put that kind of financial burden on the family, so she decided to get a job,” he says. She was married for a number of years and then divorced. “Later in life, when most people are pretty much settled and looking forward to retirement, she had to start over,” her brother says. Luckily, she landed an administrative job at the University, one that was similar to work she had previously done.
“She had always regretted not completing her education and availing herself of the opportunity,” Holeman explains. Soon she was taking night courses and juggling them with her daytime job. Even after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she continued to go to school and, eventually, completed her degree requirements. “She always showed perseverance and strength,” Holeman says. It turns out that she even found time to serve as an unofficial mentor to many of the students around her. “She is also an inspiration for my children and for the children of my siblings,” he says. Honoring her legacy is an opportunity to send a message to the next generation. “There is always an opportunity to add value, no matter where you find yourself,” Holeman says. “This scholarship in her name is my attempt to provide that continuing, living example of spirit, perseverance and strength that she showed in life.”
EMPOWERING THE DREAM As with any significant undertaking, this campaign requires visionary and committed leadership. The University of Memphis is grateful to the following individuals who are empowering the dream through their generosity and service.
campaign leadership Co-Chairs Judy and Charles Burkett
Campaign Cabinet Tommie and Billy Dunavant Brenda and Frank Flautt Martha and Bobby Fogelman
Sandra and Jack Jones Pat and Mark Luttrell Dina and Brad Martin Jim McGehee
Musette and Allen Morgan Dianne and Larry Papasan Deanie Parker Honey and Rudi Scheidt
Rita Sparks Ruby and A C Wharton Norma and Kem Wilson
Campaign Steering Committee Anise and Ron Belz Marian and Mike Bruns Martha and Ben Bryant Jr.
Harriett and Hilliard Crews Evelyn and Theopolis Holeman
Betty and George Johnson Anne Marie and Tom Kadien Trish and Carl Ring
Beth and Harry Smith David Wedaman
Centennial 100 Amy Amundsen Rebecca and Mark Askew Norma and Olin Atkins Janet and Jim Ayers W. Gordon Ball Alice Nishiwaki and Reed Baskin Carolyn Williams-Bennett and Tom Bennett Carole and Emile Bizot Judy and Dave Bronczek Harold Byrd Debra and Robert Byrd Mary Calorio Mary Jo Greil and Donald K. Carson Kathy and Gene Cashman Bena and George Cates Isabel and Wei Chen Jan and Ron Coleman Margaret and Kin Dempsey Elizabeth and Robert Dinkelspiel Janice and Ted Donaldson Pamela and Phillip Donovan Andrea and Doug Edwards Amy and John Farris Fredrika and Joel Felt Bobbie and Dave Ferraro Glenna Flautt
Wendy and Avron B. Fogelman Bradley and Robert Fogelman Anne and Jerre Freeman Kathy Buckman and J.W. Gibson Dorrit and Art Gilliam Susan and Richard Glassman Susan and Alan Graf Willie H. Gregory Sr. Helen Gronauer Carolyn and Marino Hardy Jeannie and Hunter Harrison Jackie and Ron Hart Rhonda and Ken Hazen Charlotte and Fred Hodges Alison and Al Hollingsworth Margaret and Charles Hubbert Peggy and Jim Hughes Terri Murphy Hutson and Don Hutson Janet and Robert January Leesa and Larry Jensen Georgette and Cato Johnson Kim and D. Bryan Jordan
Nancy and John Kelley Marjean and Richard Kremer Margie and Jimmy Lackie Nan and Burns Landess Betty and Skip Loewenberg B. Lee Mallory John Moore Ann and Bill Morris Joanne and Morgan Morton Charlotte and Bob Neal Barbara and Jim Neely Marla Johnson Norris and James Norris Suzanne and Michael Osborn Carol and Mike Palazola Dan Palmer Vicki Roman Palmer Tommie Pardue Julie and Joe Pepe Susan and David Perdue Kimberly and Elliot Perry Diane Duncan and Knox Phillips Marguerite Piazza Rhonda and David Porter Barbara and Allie Prescott Ann and Stephen C. Reynolds Amy and Bill Rhodes
Mary and E. Taylor Richardson Barbara and H. Frank Ricks Catherine Ladnier and Mickey Robinson Cathy Ross Sandra and Joe Rowell Diane Rudner Arif Shakeel Glenda and Gary Shorb Barbara and Stefan Smith Frederick W. Smith Maxine Smith Chris Spindel Anne and John Stokes Gina and Russell Sugarmon David Sullivan Pat Kerr Tigrett Laurie and John Tucker Lynne and Henry Turley Deborah Turner Ann and Jim Vining Jeanette and Bill Watkins Robin and Tom Watson Pauline Weaver Bobby Wharton Joy and Russel Wiener Gina and Jim Wiertelak
This is the place. This is the time. This is your unprecedented opportunity to celebrate the first 100 years of the University of Memphis and create the success stories for the next century. There is no better time than now to be part of Empowering the Dream.
memphis.edu/campaign 路 901.678.4376
non-profit org. u.s. postage paid memphis, tn permit no. 207
102 Alumni Center Memphis, TN 38152-3760
D e a r F R I E N D, We are pleased to share with you the second issue of EMPOWER, the newsletter for the Empowering the Dream Centennial Campaign for the University of Memphis. Inside, you will be inspired by people who believe the University has made a difference in their lives. This issue features donors who made investments in the University because they know the impact will extend far beyond the boundaries of our campus. These philanthropists have chosen education to be their legacy in life.
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