Special Honors and Highlights
Our Foundation makes strategic investments to promote innovation and create sustainable impact. We work to change the way Memphis thinks about the non-profit sector through partnerships that enrich the lives of individuals and families in the Memphis community.
Kemmons Wilson Culinary Institute at The University of Memphis
November 2019 marked the Grand Opening of the University of Memphis Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management's newest addition, the Kemmons Wilson Culinary Institute. The 32,000-square-foot, 8 kitchen institute is located at 1245 N Germantown Pkwy, Cordova. Proddhhgrams offered include a Bachelor of Arts in Hospitality and Resort Management, Continuing Education and Food Safety, Culinary Certificates
The Kemmons Wilson Family Stage at Crosstown Theater
The Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation and Kemmons Wilson Companies made a gift to the Crosstown Theater in support of a flourishing performing arts community in the city of Memphis. In appreciation of the Foundation’s gift, Crosstown Arts installed a dedication wall to commemorate Kemmons and Dorothy Wilson and named the theater’s stage The Kemmons Wilson Family Stage.
Historical Marker Dedicated to WHER Radio
Co-owned by Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson and Sun Studios founder Sam Phillips, WHER Radio first aired on Oct. 29, 1955. WHER ran an all-female format for 17 years, making a lasting mark on media in a time when women weren’t considered serious journalists or “real” reporters. The station was originally broadcast from the third-ever Holiday Inn building in the country, located on 980 S. Third St. in downtown Memphis.
In 2019, the Shelby County Historical Commission unveiled a marker dedicated to the nation’s first all-female radio station WHER and to WHER DJ and Sun Studio records employee Marion Keisker, the first person in the recording industry to recognize the rare quality of Elvis Presley’s talent. Thank you, Shelby County Historical Commission, former Shelby County Historian Jimmy Ogle, and Memphis Area Women's Council, for your work in marking this revolutionary moment in Memphis History.