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April 2003

Bingham Selected as Next Student Affairs VP
Bureau Renamed to Recognize Sparks
University Libraries Present Unique Giving Opportunity
U of M Partners with MCS, Plough Foundation to Create New Teacher Center

Theatre Department Presents Innovative Pair of Plays
Upcoming Alumni Events

Did You Know?

Bingham Selected as Next Student Affairs VP

Dr. Rosie Bingham A familiar face to the U of M community has been named Vice President for Student Affairs. Dr. Rosie Phillips Bingham, a native Memphian, will assume the role May 1.

Dr. Bingham had been Assistant Vice President for Students Affairs and Student Development at the U of M since 1993. She joined the University in 1985 as Director of the Center for Student Development, then became an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research. She has served on some 50 University committees and is a recipient of the University's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Award.

In making the announcement of Dr. Bingham's appointment, President Shirley Raines said, "It's very encouraging to know that after a national search ... we found the best candidate already on our campus. Dr. Bingham not only brings outstanding academic and professional qualifications, but, equally as important, she brings knowledge and understanding of the University of Memphis and its students. Just as we have benefited from her expertise for the past 18 years, we look forward to much more progress as a university with her help in the future."

Bureau Renamed to Recognize Sparks

To honor his many contributions to research and to the University of Memphis, the Bureau of Business and Economic Research has been renamed for Dr. Willard R. Sparks. Dr. Sparks is founder and chairman of the board of Sparks Companies, Inc., an agricultural research and consulting firm. He is also part owner of CattlCo Inc., one of the nation's largest cattlefeeding operations and Vining-Sparks, a general securities firm. He is also affiliated with Refco, LLC, one of the world's largest futures commission merchants.

Among Sparks' contributions to the University, he established the Sparks Family Chair of Excellence in International Business and the Sparks Family Marketing Center within the Fogelman College of Business and Economics, co-chaired the Campaign for Memphis fundraising venture, and has been a member of the Board of Visitors since its inception, serving as chairman twice. In 2001, the Sparks family made a $300,000 gift to the University Libraries in honor of the inauguration of Dr. Shirley Raines.

Established in 1963, the newly named Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research is one of the nation's largest and most respected business research bureaus, providing information and assistance to the local area on economic trends and data, employment and unemployment, and tax revenues and projections. The SBBER conducts research on broad areas of economic impact and development and major community issues.

University Libraries Present Unique Giving Opportunity

Ned McWherter Library When you hear the word "library" you may think of a stately building crammed with old books. But at the University of Memphis's Ned R. McWherter Library, the scene is quite different. Alongside the old volumes are new books, sleek computers, videocassettes, DVDs, new journals, unique collections of letters and other important resources.

Our library is full of students working hard toward earning their degrees and faculty members doing research for projects that will impact our community and beyond. It's also full of regional and national scholars using the many rare manuscripts, historical monographs and letters housed in the Special Collections Department. Our library is a hub of activity.

Now you can be a special part of that activity. For a donation of $75, you can dedicate a book in honor of a loved one. A bookplate recognizing your honoree will be placed in the front of the book; you will also be acknowledged as the donor. Each student, professor or alumni who reads that book will learn of your generous support of the library.

Your gift will help us purchase books and other resources for the library, restore and preserve our collections and maintain the computers and other technological resources that our students and faculty use each day in their research.

For more information about this opportunity and other ways you can help to strengthen the University Libraries, contact Veronica Oxford at voxford@memphis.edu or 901/678-4224 or contact Sharon Koelle at skoelle@memphis.edu or 901/678-3955.

U of M Partners with MCS, Plough Foundation to Create New Teacher Center

Hovda, Raines, Watson, Rudner The U of M, Memphis City Schools, and Plough Foundation have joined forces to create a New Teacher Center at the University. Funded by a $863,000 grant from the Plough Foundation, the Center will be fully operational at the start of the 2003-04 academic year.

The goals of the Center are to increase new-teacher retention rates and improve student achievement in the Memphis City Schools by providing professional development and mentoring.

The New Teacher Center will be modeled after and affiliated with the highly successful New Teacher Center at the University of California, Santa Cruz. That program has enjoyed new-teacher five-year retention rates of 94 percent, while the national average is 50 percent.

For more information about this project, see the University's official news release at http://www.memphis.edu/releases/apr03/plough.html or the College of Education's New Teacher Center brochure at http://coe.memphis.edu/Dean/Docs/NewTeacherCenter.pdf.

Theatre Department Presents Innovative Pair of Plays

Alan Ayckbourne's House and Garden presents a challenge to a theatre company: perform two plays simultaneously in two theatres to two audiences. Up for the challenge, the U of M Department of Theatre and Dance will present the plays' Memphis premieres April 17-19 and 22-26.

As the title suggests, one play takes place inside of the Platt house, an English country estate 200 miles from London. The other occurs in the Platts' garden. When characters exit one play, they enter into the other, interweaving plotlines as they go.

The crazy subplots include three marriages on the rocks, backroom political shenanigans, an alcoholic and unpredictable French film actress who speaks very little English and the organizational hell of a storm-battered garden fair.

Each play can be seen singly and in any order, but you'll want to see both sides of the story!

Showtimes are 8 p.m. at the U of M Department of Theatre and Dance (3745 Central Avenue). Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for students and senior citizens. For tickets, call 901/678-2576. Call Alice Berry at 901/678-3184 for more information.

Upcoming Alumni Events

The Office of Alumni and Special Events is currently planning spring events for alumni in Nashville and New York City. For more information, please contact acantrll@memphis.edu or call 901/678-5314.

Did You Know?
The University of Memphis student body represents 83 countries.

 


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