Since our first newsletter
was sent April 15, we've received overwhelmingly positive responses
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Spring Commencement Produces 1,463 New Alums
U of M Day in Jackson is May 18
Library to Benefit from Sparks Generosity
U of M Faces Budget Cuts, Tuition Increase
More than 1,400 graduates moved their tassels on May 5 at Spring
Commencement held at The Pyramid. President Shirley C. Raines
conveyed 961 undergraduate degrees, 406 graduate degrees (including
21 doctoral degrees) and 96 juris doctor degrees.
Crossing the stage were 58 summa cum laude, 86 magna cum laude
and 132 cum laude graduates.
Dr. Donald K. Carson, vice president for student affairs
and vice provost for enrollment services at The U of M, was
the featured speaker.
Carson recently announced he plans to retire in December after
28 years as a U of M administrator. He has also served as vice
president and dean of students, and twice served as interim
athletics director for the University.
and friends in West Tennessee are invited to join us for U
of M Day at the Diamond Jaxx game this Saturday, May 18,
in Jackson, TN. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m., and the first
pitch is scheduled to be thrown out at 6:40 p.m by Tiger soccer
coach Richie Grant. The game starts at 7:05 p.m., and a fireworks
show will cap the evening.
Tickets are available at the gate for $4 berm (lawn) seats,
$5 general admission, $7 reserved seats, $8 box seats, $9 field
box seats and $10 club seats.
Be sure to visit our tent located in front of the stadium so
we can say hello. Wear your blue and gray. We hope to see you
University of Memphis Libraries have been named the recipient
of a $300,000 gift from the Willard Sparks family in
honor of the commitment to education demonstrated by Dr. Shirley
Raines, inaugurated last month as the 11th president of the
Sparks said he, his wife, Rita, and his family were making the
donation "in support of the pursuit of knowledge" and in honor
of Dr. Raines' leadership at The U of M.
Sparks chairs the University's Board of Visitors, a group of
local leaders who serve in an advisory capacity to the president.
He is founder and chairman of the board of Sparks Companies
Inc., an agricultural information and consulting firm based
in Memphis. He is also part owner of Refco Inc., a futures commission
merchant; and Vining-Sparks IBG, a general securities firm.
As you are probably aware, the State of Tennessee faces a daunting
fiscal crisis. The legislature must close a $1.2 billion gap
between current funding levels and current revenue collections.
Lawmakers are deciding between raising additional revenue and
cutting spending to close the gap. Without additional state
revenue, around $10 million could be cut from The U of M's operating
budget, and our students would face another double-digit percentage
In the state budget, higher education is considered discretionary
spending, meaning there are no mandated spending levels. Lawmakers
have the authority to reduce spending levels for higher education
that they do not have with other programs.
Stakes for The U of M are high. In addition to the tuition increase,
budget cuts will affect the University by
Regardless of your view on any particular tax proposal, it is
vital that legislators understand the critical need to avoid
fund cuts for higher education. If you would like to express
your views to your state legislators, you can find contact info
for members of the State Senate at http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/senate/members/smembers.htm
and the State House at http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/house/members/hmembers.htm.
- making it more difficult to recruit and retain top-notch
faculty, meaning fewer classes and an increase in "brain-drain"
- forcing enrollment reductions, including popular
program areas such as nursing and business
- delaying much-needed building repairs