Commencement Office
December 2009 Commencement
December 2009 Commencement

Charles Burkett, president of banking for First Tennessee Bank, was the featured speaker during the University of Memphis’ winter Commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 19, at FedExForum. A total of 1,416 degrees were awarded, including 40 doctorates.

In a 10 a.m. ceremony, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Communication and Fine Arts, the University College, and the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law conferred degrees.

At 2 p.m., Commencement was held for the Fogelman College of Business & Economics, the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, the Herff College of Engineering, the Loewenberg School of Nursing, the School of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, and the new School of Public Health.

Charles Burkett
Charles Burkett

During his 39-year career with First Tennessee, Burkett’s areas of responsibility have included personal banking, small business lending, retail credit, installment and credit card loan administration, and regional banking. He also has served as executive vice president and manager of First Tennessee’s wealth management division. In that role, Burkett managed trust, investments, insurance, and financial planning. Prior to assuming bottom-line responsibility for the entire banking franchise, he served as president of retail financial services and the Memphis bank.

Burkett graduated from the University of Memphis in 1973 with a BBA degree in business management. He serves as chairman of the U of M’s Board of Visitors and is past president of the Tiger Athletic Advisory Board of Directors. In 2005, the Department of Economics in the Fogelman College of Business & Economics named Burkett its Economic Educator of the Year. He was recognized for his efforts to integrate economic education into local school agendas.

Burkett also graduated from the University of Virginia’s Graduate School of Banking and the University of Tennessee’s Executive Development Program. A native Memphian, Burkett has volunteered his services to a variety of local civic and charitable organizations. He is the current chairman of the board of directors of the United Way of the Mid-South.

The University of Memphis, founded in 1912, is a comprehensive metropolitan research university that is recognized nationally and internationally for its academic, research, and athletic programs. For its more than 21,000 students, the University offers more than 254 areas of study for those seeking bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees; it also offers the juris doctor (law) and education specialist degrees.

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Video: watch Charles Burkett's address to the graduates
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