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SEPTEMBER 2011 UPDATE HOME
More September Features:

Sept. 30 gala to launch Centennial
Oct. 5 book signing, photo exhibit
Law School announces five additions
Boyd provides unmatched service
Co-workers have "wow" attitude
Administrator of the Year
Shupe receives Montgomery Award
Todd "shines in the eyes of others"
Central Avenue Project
Names in the news

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Administrator of the Year has "law" on her side

By Greg Russell

Murry, at left, was presented the Distinguished Employee of the Year Award during a ceremony in June. At right is University Counsel Sheri Lipman. (Photo by Rhonda Cosentino)
Murry, at left, was presented the Distinguished Employee of the Year Award during a ceremony in June. At right is University Counsel Sheri Lipman. (Photo by Rhonda Cosentino)
Melanie Stovall Murry was content to stay out of the spotlight earlier this year as a team of law students from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law won the prestigious Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial national championship. She watched from the sidelines as the U of M students beat teams from Harvard, DePaul, Texas Wesleyan and St. Mary’s. A recent award, though, has put Murry at the center of attention.

Murry, associate counsel at the U of M, was selected as the University’s Distinguished Administrator of the Year earlier this summer.

“I love working with students,” said Murry. “It is great to help them reach and (even) surpass their potential. We have some fantastic students at the law school and it has been an honor to work with them.”

Murry said she strives for perfection in her job as University associate counsel while also trying to change a misperception.

“Most people fear lawyers or think having to deal with legal is a bad thing,” she said. “I hope I can change that perception.”

Murry’s co-coach at the mock trial championship, Bridgett Stigger, said Murry achieves the mission of the University every day.

“She competently interprets the rules, laws and regulations of the University. She motivates the students who work for her to pursue excellence.”

Ingrid Powell Wilson of the legal department agrees.

“She goes the extra mile to help students, employees and visitors to campus,” said Wilson. “And Melanie does not differentiate in how she treats people. It does not matter if you are an employee in physical plant, a student or a vice president, she treats everyone with respect and dignity.”

Mock trail team member Joseph McKinney said Murry made all the difference in winning the national championship.

“What set us apart was our preparation,” McKinney said. “Coach Murry’s philosophy is to prepare us to be great lawyers. While winning is her goal, her main goal is to teach us advocacy skills that we can transfer from the competition to the actual practice of law.”

Murry said she is anticipating the University’s upcoming centennial celebration, especially one part.

“I can’t wait to see the tigers around the city,” she said in referring to the Alumni Association’s “Tigers Around Town” campaign that will place 100 tiger statues throughout the Greater Memphis area.

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