FHU Officially Opens Grad Education Center in Memphis
Freed-Hardeman University officials and the mayors of Memphis and Shelby County were on hand June 17 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Bucy Center. The building has been renovated to serve as the home for FHU graduate courses in the Memphis area. It is named in memory of G.C. and Pam Bucy, whose estate provided the funds for the building.
Located at 5565 Shelby Oaks, just off Sycamore View, the T-shaped building contains eight classrooms, a conference room, offices, and a reception area. The 12,000 square foot building was originally home to the Shelby County Agricultural Extension Service.
Memphis Mayor A C Wharton and Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr., participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Both mayors emphasized the importance of coupling faith-based education with higher education and the benefits this provides the community.
FHU President Joe Wiley called the opening of the Bucy Center “a new beginning in Memphis”,” but emphasized, “FHU has been a part of the Memphis higher education community since the fall of 1998.” “We needed to do this,” he said, “not only to be able to offer more classes and expand programs, but to tell the Memphis community that we are here to stay and that we are serious about serving the educational needs of this great city.”
Dr. Karen Cypress directs the activities of the center. Nine graduate education courses, as well as courses for the Master of Science in Counseling, are being offered in the center this summer with more planned for the fall. According to Cypress, the center will have courses leading to a Master of Education, School Counseling, Special Education, Administration and Supervision, and the Education Specialist Degree. Courses leading to a Master of Science in Counseling will also be offered.
“With the many changes occurring in education today, our professors aim to be at the forefront of these changes in order to better prepare future educators across the Mid-South. Our programs are tailored to the needs of our students; we offer courses in a variety of formats such as traditional courses, weekend, online, and WebEx. We are extremely excited about our new Bucy Center and look forward to serving the great city of Memphis and surrounding Mid-South areas,” Cypress said.
Both Freed-Hardeman alumni, the Bucys were long-time educators. G.C. preached for churches of Christ and taught in the Nashville public schools. Pam taught for nearly 30 years at Goodpasture Christian School in Madison, Tenn. As the first platinum life member of the Associates, she had worked to make the Hardeman House on the FHU campus available for guest lodging.
More than 60 percent of the graduate students in education are from the Memphis area, according to Dr. Elizabeth Saunders, director of FHU’s graduate education program. “The Center gives us a chance to show our presence in the Memphis area,” she said. She praised the helpfulness of the adjunct faculty who “have been willing to do whatever they could to improve the building.” In the future, Saunders would like to host workshops and seminars for area educators at the center.
Dr. Sharen Cypress, dean of the FHU School of Education and twin sister of Dr. Karen Cypress, also spoke at the ceremony. “Everything one could possibly want or need in a facility is in this one,” she said. She also expressed gratitude to all who had helped to make the center possible.
Other Freed-Hardeman administrators attending the event were Dr. Dwayne Wilson, executive vice president who also coordinated the renovation of the center; Dr. C.J. Vires, vice president for academics and enrollment management; Mark Scott, vice president for technology and innovation; Dave Clouse, vice president for university advancement; Dr. Sam Jones, vice president for spiritual development; Dr. Milton Sewell, chancellor; and Dr. Mike Cravens, director of the graduate program in counseling.