During a phone-conference meeting introducing her as the new president of the University of Memphis, Dr. Shirley Raines had this to offer: I want to an extend an invitation. To all the high school students who are deciding on a college in 2001, I want you to join me at the University of Memphis. To the adults who want advanced degrees, then my request is for you to come to the University of Memphis. And to the faculty and staff who are considering positions at our university, my message is to come to the University of Memphis. To the community leaders, my goal is to meet you throughout the city and the entire Mid-South region to tell you about the University of Memphis.
The confirmation of Raines selection as president by Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Dr. Charles Manning drew applause from those assembled in the Fogelman Executive Center, where students, faculty, and staff gathered to hear the announcement.
Says Maurice Williams, staff senate president, I can say that we have a chancellor who is a man of his word. He listened to the faculty and the staff here in Memphis. He heard all our hopes. This is a new day in university history. Williams went on to say that Raines is a person who came here with a love and a passion of the University already in her heart.
Kari Holt, an undergraduate at the University of Memphis, was more guarded in her comments but still optimistic. I was really surprised with the result, says Holt, who expected ECU Vice Chancellor Richard Ringeisen to get the nod, and not Raines, who will be the universitys first female president.