City residents get into the Spirit of Memphis

By Lori Brown - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Friday, residents from across the city joined a movement designed to spread goodwill about Memphis.

The Spirit of Memphis, a group started by some University of Memphis students, hopes to get city residents to march to the beat of a different drum.

In pursuit of their goal, the students have recruited some powerful followers, including First Tennessee and Baker Donelson for a pep rally Friday.

"U of M students had the vision to help us to wake up and celebrate the great things about our city," Baker Donelson CEO Ben Adams said.

Adams added that he has a list of the things he loves about Memphis that is three pages long.

"I love walking on the river," he said. "I love the Civil Rights Museum, the Orpheum and the new University of Memphis Law School."

Adams said Memphians need to embrace the city's struggles.

"We've got challenges," he said. "People tend to get down on our challenges, but our challenges are no different than any other city in America."

Spirit of Memphis formed before Forbes Magazine named Memphis the third most miserable city in the United States, though that article served to fire up the spirit of some residents even more.

University of Memphis student Brian Whaley led First Tennessee and Baker Donelson employees in an oath.

"To defend Memphis against negativity in thought, word or deed, both "Forbes" and domestic," he said. "One Memphis on the river, with spirit and pride for all."

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