Dr. Shirley Raines Steps Down as University of Memphis President

Dr. Shirley Raines Steps Down as University of Memphis President

After 12 years of serving as University of Memphis President, Dr. Shirley Raines is retiring this weekend.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - After 12 years of serving as the University of Memphis President, Dr. Shirley Raines is retiring this weekend.

While Sunday is officially her last day, Raines spent her last day in office Friday. It was bittersweet as she spent the afternoon saying her final farewells.

U of M student Justin Gaworski is from miles away, but with the help of Dr. Raines, he's made the University of Memphis his home.

"It has a very clear vision moving forward, so I'm really impressed with the vision she's left on campus and look forward to the changes coming in the future," said Gaworski.

Raines retires with a long list of accomplishments. Since her appointment as President, enrollment has grown to more than 22,000 students. It's been hard work, but it's still sad for Raines to say goodbye.

"The hard part is leaving the people, leaving the inner office staff that works so closely with me, then all the officers of the university, the vice presidents, my whole director staff and the deans and all those great people who made this university a great place," said Raines.

During her tenure at U of M, Raines also focused on expanding the university's honors and emerging leaders programs. Over 10 percent of undergraduates are now in that honors program. Seeing the seeds she's sown blossom brings joy to Raines, but according to her that's the heart of the job.

"It feels sad to be leaving because I love this university and I love my job, but my job has been filled with great joy and great challenges but that's what I wish for everyone to have such a compelling interesting job that their work is filled with both those things, joy and challenges," said Raines.

In July, Raines will be moving to Oak Ridge, Tennessee with her husband to be closer to their grandchildren.
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