For release: April 22, 2008
For press information, contact Curt Guenther
The men and women who teach classes and those who advise students on their courses
of study at the University of Memphis will be honored Wednesday, April 23, at Faculty
Convocation. The event is the culmination of Faculty Scholarship Week, which called
attention to the many books, films, music CDs, and fine art created by faculty members,
as well as their countless journal articles written and other research conducted.
Convocation activities will begin with a procession through the interior of the campus.
Professors will dress in full academic regalia and will be led by a parade marshal
carrying the mace and official seal of the University. The procession, which dates
to medieval times, is colorful, with professors’ robes sporting hoods of various hues
that represent their disciplines and the universities from which they hold their degrees.
Convocation itself will begin at 2 p.m. in the Rose Theatre, following the academic
procession that will begin at 1:45 p.m. at the College of Communication and Fine Arts.
The procession will proceed from CCFA past the McWherter Library to the Student Plaza
and will circle the Plaza before entering the Rose Theatre for Convocation ceremonies.
Foremost among the awards to be presented is the Eminent Faculty Award, presented
by the University’s Board of Visitors. The trophy and $20,000 cash award this year
will go to Dr. Ralph Albanese, chairman of the Department of Foreign Languages and
The Thomas W. Briggs Foundation will honor Dr. Joseph Hayden of journalism and Dr.
Nancy Mardis of accounting for excellence in undergraduate teaching and an overall
commitment to undergraduate education.
Honored by the University’s Alumni Association for distinguished teaching will be
Dr. Lily Afshar in music, Dr. Robert Marchini in physics, Dr. Yuki Matsuda in foreign
languages, Dr. Fernando Burgos Perez in foreign languages, and Irvin Tankersley in
The Alumni Association’s Distinguished Advising Awards will go to Lisa Eldin in the
College of Arts and Sciences and Nancy Magallanes in the Department of Foreign Languages
Awards from the Alumni Association will go to Stephen Hancock for distinguished achievement
in the creative arts, to Dr. William Smith for distinguished research in the social
sciences and business, to Dr. George Anastassiou for distinguished research in science,
engineering, and mathematics, to Dr. James Fickle for distinguished research in the
humanities, and to Michael Schmidt for excellence in engaged scholarship.
The Allen J. Hammond Presidential Service Award, presented only occasionally, for
particularly meritorious service, will recognize Mrs. Noel Schwartz, who recently
retired as the University’s registrar.