I work at the University of Memphis and have been here since 2016. As is the case with many universities in the U.S., the UofM had a rather big growth spurt in the number and size of its buildings when the baby boom generation came of college age. After which there was a drop off in construction. Thanks to recent growth and the stewardship of the previous (Dr. Shirley Raines) and current (Dr. David Rudd) presidents, the UofM has seen a flurry of new construction. The university has also begun the process of closing streets on the campus and turning them into pedestrian walkways. This has created some very nice spaces on campus. In a future post, I will detail some of the older buildings with both external and interior photos. For now, here are some general campus photos. Unless otherwise noted, the photos were taken in 2020.
The two photos above are of the Administration Building. Construction of the building began in 1911 along with the two other original buildings of the campus (the President's House, which was subsequently demolished, and Mynders Hall). All three buildings were dedicated on September 10, 1912. When it was opened, the Administration Building had a large external staircase which has since been removed. The railings you see on the second floor are not original as these spots were the landing of the original stairs. I have read several books on the history of the UofM, but I have been unable to find out when and why the stairs were removed. Fraternities and sororities had pledge activities on the stairs back in the day and in the early years male athletes used the top floor of the building as a dorm. There was a subsequent addition to the back of the building which is not visible in these photos.
The five photos above are of the University Center and a walkway between the UC and the Zach Curlin Parking Garage and the V. Lane Rawlins Service Court. Zach Curlin was a football coach and V. Lane Rawlins was a former president of the UofM. He was president when the university changed its name from Memphis State University to the University of Memphis in 1994. He would later go on to be president of Washington State University and the University of North Texas. The UC was constructed during the administration of UofM president Shirley Raines. The rotunda image is the northeast side of the UC building. The lower two images are of the west side of the building as seen from the Alumni Mall. In the distance in the last photo you can see the Hunter Harrison Memorial Bridge. The $18million structure opened in 2019 and serves as a viaduct over a set of railroad tracks.
These three photos are of the Ned R. McWherter Library. McWherter was a former governor of Tennessee. The first two images are of the front of the building and the last is the rear from the Ellipse, a green space on campus. The building opened in 1994 under president V. Lane Rawlins.
This is a fountain in the Student Activities Plaza on the east side of the Administration Building. The UofM's colors are blue and gray, and the fountain is dyed blue on game days, commencement, and other special occasions. The photo on the left was taken in September 2017 and the one on the right in 2020. In both, you can see the addition to the Administration building.
Above are (left to right) the FedEx Institute of Technology Building, Johnson Hall, the Fogleman College of Business and Economics Building, Centennial Place, the John S. Wilder Tower (with Johnson Hall and John Willard Brister Hall in the foreground), and the Psychology Building. The FedEx Institute of Technology Building (abbreviated as FIT) houses the graduate school, sponsored programs, and a variety of other offices. Johnson is home to geography and geology. Centennial Place is a recently constructed dorm. Wilder Tower was originally constructed as a library, but now holds a variety of student service offices.
Last, the above two photos are close ups of the Hunter Harrison Memorial Bridge and a new parking garage and plaza on the southside of the viaduct.
University Grounds is a blog about college and university campuses, their buildings and grounds, and the people who live and work on them.
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