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600 photos, 128 pages and 100 years of UM history

By Michelle Corbet
On September 7, 2011

  • As part of The U of M’s centennial celebration, a coffee table book exploring the history of The University was written by faculty from the college of arts and sciences. Brian Wilson

A new coffee table book compiled by University of Memphis professors and officials is the product of four years of sifting through 600 photographs and a century of University of Memphis history.

The U of M published a limited-edition centennial history book entitled "Dreamers. Thinkers. Doers. A Centennial History of The University of Memphis" to celebrate The University's 100th anniversary and pay tribute to its accomplishments over the past century.

 "You can hardly have a 100-year anniversary without telling the story of the 100 years," said Janann Sherman, chair of the department of history.

 Sherman and Beverly Bond, director of the college of arts and sciences wrote the 128-page book with the help of graduate assistant Frances Breland. Bond said the goal of the book is to give readers a feel for what it was like to be on campus through all of The University's changes.

  "We talked it through and decided we couldn't talk about individuals such as sports figures or beauty queens, we wanted to talk about what it was like to be on campus through the years, and we wanted to fill the book with fun and fascinating facts," Sherman said.

  The book is composed of five sections representing The University's changes in name and mission.  Sherman wrote a central narrative that continues through each section, Bond edited the book and Breland gathered photos and information.

"Our institution went through five name changes through the years and the names reflect the changes The University goes through; it goes from Normal School to Teachers College to full-blown University," Bond said.

 The narrative is accompanied by U of M facts and a timeline of events. The book progresses chronologically, from the founding of The University in 1912 to the present day. The authors found that the atmosphere of The University coincided with what was happening in America.     

 "Every year on campus tells a story," Sherman said.  "What was happening on campus was reflecting what was happening in America. During World War I and World War II, women were on campus making bandages for the war effort."

 The 9-inch by 12-inch full-color book is filled with photographs and illustrations that aid in telling The University's story.

 "This book appeals to anyone with a connection to The University of Memphis, and while I'm new to The University, I find it fascinating to see how The University has changed in the last 100 years; the history is amazing," said Donna L. Collier, manager of The University of Memphis Bookstore.  

 The book is being sold exclusively at the campus bookstore for $39.95. The University printed only 2,000 copies of the limited-edition book and 400 have already been sold.

 "Faculty, staff, departments and alumni are the main customers purchasing the book," Collier said. "I believe this book will appeal to anyone interested in The University, but particularly those who have been on campus at some time or another."


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