A message from the Dean


Press Photo

During these tough economic times, it is easy to complain about the budget cuts, loss of positions and decreases in the investments on endowment funds, but this issue of CCFA Voices instead focuses on some wonderful successes, many of which are made possible by loyal and giving friends of the College of Communication and Fine Arts. Our cover story includes profiles of several CCFA students. With backgrounds and interests in different creative or scholarly pursuits, these students are united by the generosity of Mickey Robinson and Catherine Ladnier, who established and continue to fund the Elizabeth and Harold Robinson Scholars and Fellows Fund, named in memory of Robinson’s parents Harold and Elizabeth. Each year the Robinson Fund helps a dozen students complete not only their education, but also their dreams as the stories of six Robinson Scholars and Fellows will tell you.

Other supporters have stepped forward to honor and remember one of their friends or teachers, such as with the recently established Keith Kennedy Endowment, which will help students in the Department of Theatre & Dance. Working under the leadership of fund-raising committee co-chairs, Mike Osborn and John Bakke, this committee, with almost 100 donors, has established the Kennedy endowment, that will keep the memory of the University’s first Director of Theatre alive, and also provide much needed help for theatre and dance students.

Bill Eubanks started a scholarship fund to support interior design students and honor a late friend.  He also began an endowment to provide a yearly lecture by a nationally or internationally recognized interior design professional. Eubanks’ double gift is all the more important because the University no longer provides academic lecture funds that for years have allowed us to host additional non-faculty artists, performers, designers, and scholars that are so vital to our College.

Among our points of pride are the recent reaccredidation of the Department of Art. Under the leadership of Fred Albertson as interim chair, and then Richard Lou as chair, the art department met all the criteria for reaccredidation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.  The Departments of Architecture and Journalism have been successful in securing “Strengthening Communities” grants that will aid not only the departments, but also several neighborhoods in Memphis and the city of Millington. The Art Museum of the University of Memphis (AMUM) has also had excellent success, including a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for the 2010 exhibition on the architecture of Paul R. Williams.

Other stories in this magazine will tell of our faculty and staff’s successes. Among those are Pu-Qi Jiang, Steven Ross, and Greely Myatt. Jian, professor of orchestral studies in the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music and maestro of the University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra, received the 2009 University of Memphis Faudree Professorship. Ross, professor of film and video production in the Department of Communication, received the 2009 Benjamin Rawlins, Jr. Meritorious Professorship, and Myatt, professor of art and associate chair of the Department of Art, will have his sculptures literally exhibited all over the city this fall, to commemorate is work of the past 20 years.

We are sad to be saying goodbye to Larry McPherson, Guggenheim Prize winning photography professor who retired this spring, but who will continue to produce amazing photography.  Given the dire economy, his position will not be filled. We also had to bid farewell to Bob Levey, who returned to Washington this summer after a three-year commitment as Hardin Chair of Excellence in the Department of Journalism. As always we like to highlight our outstanding students, including Tesfa Alexander, doctoral student in communication and recently appointed intern at the National Cancer Institute, as well as Clare Torina and Stephen Almond, CCFA painting and photography students and a young artist couple on the rise.

Some of these stories you will find as you flip through the printed version of this magazine; others will be available only online, as we too, make every effort to save costs while still providing you with the best of CCFA.

Richard R. Randa, Dean
College of Communication and Fine Arts



Jennifer Garrigues Featured at 2009 William R. Eubanks Distinguished Lecture


The second lecture in this recently established series was given by Jennifer Garrigues, internationally recognized British designer. The series is made possible by William R. Eubanks.

A large and enthusiastic audience was on hand for the event this past March to hear Garrigues talk about her professional design career and life experience, including her time as a top international fashion model. Her association with icons like Jean Nuir, Christian Dior, and James Galanos has provided her with a finely honed understanding of the visual impact of proportion, balance and texture and a thorough knowledge of fine design in all its combined elements.

Garrigues attended the New York School of Design, quickly gaining a reputation through her designs, created for well-known New Yorkers. From her studios located today in Palm Beach and New York, she works with an international clientele that values her sensibilities garnered from continuing travel and exposure to many world cultures and peoples.

The lecture audience, including many interior design and architecture students, was spellbound by photographs of the speaker taken from publications such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, which illustrated the direct relationship between high fashion and Garrigues’ home and room designs. Students and guests throughout the community surrounded Garrigues after the lecture to hear more about the international design industry. In addition, students and faculty had a chance to interact with her the following day, when she led a workshop in the Interior Design studios, sharing her zeal and passion for beautiful color and composition.

William R. Eubanks is a pre-eminent interior designer and U of M alumnus whose work is internationally respected. He established both the William R. Eubanks Distinguished Lecture Series in Interior Design and the James Weaver Memorial Scholarship. His designs frequent the pages of major publications such as Interiors and Veranda.