Go, Tigers, Go!

West Tennessee State Normal students in 1914 were among the first to graduate from the school that would become Memphis State University and later the University of Memphis.

September 10, 1912

A new era of educational progress was begun yesterday with the formal opening of the West Tennessee State Normal School, at which regular class work will commence this morning.

The opening of this half million dollar educational institution means much to Memphis, to Shelby County, to the western part of the state, and this was recognized by all the speakers, who were among the most prominent men in Southern education circles.

The school went on to become West Tennessee State Teachers College, Memphis State University and finally in 1994, the University of Memphis. From that first day, with 200 students, the school’s mascot was a tiger, its colors blue and gray to denote unification of the country following the Civil War.

University of Memphis
University of Memphis