The University of Memphis has been selected to join a growing network of universities
committed to increasing the graduation rate of first-generation college students through
participation in the First Scholars™ program. Nationally, only 36% of first-generation
students complete a bachelor’s degree within six years of enrollment, compared with
60% of their peers whose parents are college graduates. The mission of First Scholars™,
a program of the Plano, Texas-based Suder Foundation, is to change these statistics
by providing individualized academic and social support, personal development, and
financial assistance to students whose parents have no education beyond high school.
The First Scholars™ program is being launched at the University of Memphis with a
grant of $860,000 from the Suder Foundation. Click here to read more about this commitment.
Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs law firm has established a scholarship at the University of
Memphis Cecil C. Humphrey School of Law in memory of Benjamin L. Hooks, the civil
rights activist, who died last year at 85. Hooks, who led the firm's diversity practice group, was also a judge, minister, former
executive director of the NAACP and a former commissioner on the Federal Communications
Commission. The scholarship will preserve Dr. Hooks’ legacy and promote diversity
in the legal community. The $15,000 annual award will cover tuition, books, supplies and other fees for Cory Strong, the first recipient
of the scholarship, throughout his tenure at the law school. Click here to read more about the scholarship.
A $1 million gift from a donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, will be used to establish
a Scholars Program for students majoring in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics
who are also part of the UTeach Memphis program at the University of Memphis. The
donation comes from an individual who is particularly interested in the UTeach Memphis
program and for whom secondary education is a family tradition. Click here to read more about UTeach and the impact of this gift.