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FALL 2014

EDITOR Greg Russell (MS ’93)


FEATURES DESIGNER Aaron Drown COLUMNS DESIGNER Will Marshall (MFA ’14) CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Gabrielle Maxey (BA ’80) PHOTOGRAPHER Rhonda Cosentino WRITERS Eric Butterman Sara Hoover (MFA ’13) Anita Houk Samuel Prager PROOFREADERS Jan Russell (BA ’95) Jill Westfall PRESIDENT M. David Rudd VICE PRESIDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS, PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MARKETING Linda Bonnin MISSION The University of Memphis is a learner-centered metropolitan research university providing high quality educational experiences while pursuing new knowledge through research, artistic expression, and interdisciplinary and engaged scholarship. The University of Memphis is one of 45 institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents system, the sixth largest system of higher education in the nation. TBR is the governing board for this system, which comprises six universities, 13 two-year colleges and 27 Colleges of Applied Technology. The TBR system enrolls more than 80 percent of all Tennessee students attending public institutions of higher education. The University of Memphis’ name, seal, logos and Tigers are registered marks of the University of Memphis and use in any manner is prohibited unless prior written approval is obtained from the University of Memphis. The University of Memphis Magazine (USPS-662-550) is published three times a year by the Division of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing of the University of Memphis, 303 Administration Building, Memphis, TN 38152-3370. Periodical Postage paid at Memphis, TN 38152. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Alumni & Development Office, The University of Memphis, 120 Alumni Center, Memphis, TN 38152-3760.

PRESIDENT Dear alumni and friends of the University: The academic school year is just beginning, but there is already a great deal of exciting news to share. First, the University of Memphis did something this fall semester that it has not done in 22 years: it held the line on tuition. This is important for several reasons. Student loan debt continues to pile up at an alarming rate, increasing at almost a 6-percent clip each year. A large percentage of seniors across the nation have nearly $30,000 in student loan debt upon graduation, up $10,000 in the past decade alone. As part of our commitment to providing students with an exceptional academic experience — and doing so at a reasonable cost — I am proud to say we are the only university in Tennessee that did not raise tuition for this academic year, and one of a very few in the entire country. Out-of-state students are paying at least $3,000 less this year than last, and students within a 250-mile radius, regardless of what state they reside in, are paying a rate closer to half of last year’s out-of-state tuition. Already a best-bargain school, we are well on a path to becoming nationally known for providing excellence and affordability and doing so in the same sentence. Also, the University of Memphis’ research mission received a major boost this summer when the Assisi Foundation of Memphis awarded a $1.5 million lead grant for the construction of the BioHUB. This facility will promote advanced, collaborative research, and is an essential part of our effort to grow our research capacity to $100 million over the next decade. Our research initiatives, including those of Dr. Santosh Kumar, who is recognized as a world leader in the field of mobile health and who is featured on page 20, continue to make a difference in the lives of our citizens both locally and nationally. Once again, our teacher preparation programs have been ranked among the best in the nation in a review by U.S. News & World Report. We were ranked 27th for our undergraduate elementary program and 28th for our graduate secondary program, placing them in the top 3.5 percent in the country. In terms of national rankings, the teacher prep programs have demonstrated the most significant performances of any academic programs at the U of M. These are just a few of the exciting stories that are happening on campus. Please visit my blog at to read about more. As we move forward, we will always strive for excellence in everything we do, from the curriculum, to the research mission, to our service arm and to our connection to the community. I have no doubt that we can achieve excellence in the classroom and in our research and be known for affordability at the same time. Go Tigers! Sincerely,

M. David Rudd President 2

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Profile for University of Memphis


University of Memphis Fall Magazine


University of Memphis Fall Magazine