Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Farris Room" at Southwest Community College Commemorates Influential Couple

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 8:26 AM

State Representative Jeanne Richardson and John Farris share a memory
  • JB
  • State Representative Jeanne Richardson and John Farris share a memory
It was a modest ceremony but a star-studded one. A largish crowd of attendees across the span of the lives of Bill and Jimmie Farris showed up Monday afternoon for the dedication of a Farris Room in the campus administrative building of Southwest Tennessee Community College.

The building itself already bears the name of the Farris Building in honor of Bill Farris, the late philanthropist, patriarch, and ultimate mover and shaker who dominated local politics for at least two generations and had enormous influence on state and national government and politics as well. What the Farris Room does is house some of the extensive memorabilia that attached to the lives of Farris and his immediate and extended family, who still make a difference in what goes on.

The eminent personalities who joined the Farris family for Monday’s dedication and ribbon cutting were illustrious to the point of confounding any attempt to list them all. But among them were U.S. Appeals Court Judge Ron Gilman, a former Farris law partner; Rita Clark, who with Farris’ blessing went from homemaker and political activist to become one of the longest-serving Shelby County Assessors; Bobby Lanier and Bobby Bowers, influential behind-the-scenes agents of local government both; serving state legislators galore; and academics like Victor Feisal and Charles Temple, and former state Board of Regents chancellor Charles W. Manning, and Nathan Essex, current president of Southwest Tennessee Community College.

That Southwest exists today as a thriving multi-campus entity is very largely the work of Bill Farris, who did so much to endow it and to unite the former institutions of Shelby State Community College and State Technical Institute so as to create it.

Bill and Jimmie Farris, a community activist and political power in her own right, will be remembered for many things, most of them on evidence in the artifacts of the Farris Room, but the institution itself is an enormous part of their legacy.

Members of the Farris clan after the ribbon-cutting
  • JB
  • Members of the Farris clan after the ribbon-cutting

Memorabilia on one of the walls of the Farris Room
  • jb
  • Memorabilia on one of the walls of the Farris Room



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


Speaking of School Consolidation


Readers also liked…

  • Cohen Tells It!

    In which Memphis’ Democratic congressman Steve Cohen, addressing an apparent GOP effort to muddy the waters on the Russian inquiry, not only takes no crap but gives it back where it came from. This is worth watching from beginning to end -- even for those who might disagree on the politics of the matter.
    • Jul 26, 2017
  • The Big River Crossing: A Weekend to Remember

    The giant locomotive whistles, the inspiring speeches, the dazzling display of rainbow lighting on the Harahan Bridge at night, and the first treks across the bridge by foot and by bike are all embedded in Memphis history now, as the "Main St. to Main St. Multi-Modal Connector" project came to pass, linking Memphis to West Memphis, and both to the future. (WITH SLIDESHOW AND VIDEO OF BRIDGE LIGHTS)
    • Oct 25, 2016
  • Cohen to Introduce Articles of Impeachment against Trump

    Ranking member of House Judiciary subcommittee, says, apropos Charlottesville and Trump's apparent defense of the white nationalist fomentors there: "There are no good Nazis. There are no good Klansmen."
    • Aug 17, 2017

Most Commented On

© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation