The University of Memphis to open at Lambuth this month

By Emily Pitts

McNairy County students will soon have more options for higher education nearby. The University of Memphis will begin offering classes at what was formerly Lambuth University in Jackson, Tenn., on Saturday, August 27, the official start of the university’s fall 2011 semester. The Lambuth University property is being transferred to the governance of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Russell Ingle, McNairy Regional Alliance Director of Chamber Programs, feels that the university’s opening in Jackson will be a positive thing for the county.

“Access to another top-notch educational institution this close to McNairy County is a plus for residents seeking post-secondary education and a plus for economic development,” said Ingle.

The University of Memphis has had a presence in Jackson since 1955. Since then thousands of students have obtained their college education at least partly through the University’s classes taught at Jackson State Community College. All classes formerly taught at JSCC, as well as new course offerings, will now be taught at the Lambuth location.

In announcing the University’s increased presence in Jackson, President Shirley Raines said, “We are honored to be able to offer more educational opportunities as a public university to the citizens of Jackson and West Tennessee. Lambuth University has given its students and alumni a great legacy, and the University of Memphis will continue, and will build upon, Lambuth’s fine educational reputation.”

Lambuth alumnus and McNairy County resident Leanne Emmons was sad to see Lambuth go but excited about the prospect of the University of Memphis coming to Jackson.

“That was my home for four years,” said Emmons. “To imagine it empty just seems wrong.”

Emmons was drawn to Lambuth because it was close to her home, but not too close. She believes it has the same draw for McNairy County students today.

McNairy Central High School guidance counselor Molly Cheshier agrees. “With the opening of the University of Memphis campus in the Lambuth facility, I would expect McNairy County students to give greater consideration to enrollment. Factors that made Lambuth a desirable choice included the location, the beauty of the campus and now, the availability of the TN Education Lottery Scholarship Program.”

For students planning to attend classes in Jackson this fall, information sessions will be held August 9 from 5-8 p.m. and August 10 from 2-6 p.m. Students will be able to meet individually with academic advisers and representatives from admissions, financial aid, housing and other U of M offices. Both sessions will be held in the Jack Morris Ballroom of the Wilder College Union building on the Lambuth campus.

Those who cannot attend the information sessions or who would like more information may email, or call 731-427-4725 or 901-678-5087.

More information about University of Memphis classes in Jackson is also available online at