Class of 1932 grad cheers Memphis Tigers on to victory - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Class of 1932 grad cheers Memphis Tigers on to victory

By Lori Brown - bio | email

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC-TV) - It was a winning Senior Day as the Memphis Tigers men's basketball team beat Tulane 74-47 in the last home game of the regular season.

And one of the Tigers most senior fans was there to cheer the blue and white on to victory.

University of Memphis alumni Mami Girdner Watson, class of 1932, is one of the school's oldest living graduates.

And she remains one of the Memphis Tigers' most devoted fans.

Ms. Watson, who turns 100 years old this year, stepped out on the court Saturday to receive a special medallion for being the oldest member of the University of Memphis Alumni Association.

Watson says that when she graduated from the University of Memphis back in 1932, it was called West Tennessee State Teacher's College. And she says it wasn't the bustling university it is today. "Oh, honey...much, much smaller."

Watson says there were only a few buildings on campus back then, and men far outnumbered women.

But they still had basketball.

"When I was teaching, I sometimes went to four games a week," she said.
Watson majored in Latin, Math and Music, and graduated with honors, right in the midst of The Great Depression.

She says jobs were hard to come by, but she found a position as a teacher of Latin and English in Earle, Arkansas, where she still lives today. 
And 77 years after graduating, Watson is still cheering for the Tigers, and for the University of Memphis.

"It has blossomed. And what it means to the young people, that's what I'm interested in - that we keep on teaching the young people!" she said. 


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