On campus with Curt
On Campus with Curt: University of Memphis
The University of Memphis was founded in 1912, now enrolling more than 22,000 Tigers. The campus’ theme is “Driven by Doing,” modified from its original motto Imaginari. Cogitare. Facere which means “Dreamers. Thinkers. Doers.”
Originally named West Tennessee State Teachers College, it became Memphis State University in 1957 and finally the University of Memphis in 1994. The campus was laid out in a rectilinear format, planned as a geometric design similar to the Jeffersonian style of the University of Virginia, but now consists of four separate campuses in all, including one in Jackson.
Prominent buildings on campus include Scates Hall, Manning Hall, Wilder Tower and the the FedEx Institute of Technology. The columned Administration Building overlooks Alumni Mall at the core of campus.
For more than 30 years, the mascot for The U of M has been a live Bengal tiger named TOM. During this time, the University has hosted three successive tigers, known respectively as TOM I, TOM II, and TOM III. The university also has a costumed tiger mascot known as Pouncer.
The campus currently has 50 tiger statues located on campus and another 50 located around the Memphis area. The Alumni Association placed the life-sized tigers around the city in honor of the University's Centennial in 2012.
With more than 100,000 graduates, notable Tigers include actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson; first African-American Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton; actresses Kathy Bates; CEO of Saks Inc. R. Brad Martin; New England Patriot Stephen Gostkowski; and Chicago Bull Derek Rose.