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Lambuth History and Archives

This guide includes information about The University of Memphis Lambuth Campus history, links to digitized Lambuth archive collections, and information about historical items located in the Lambuth Archives.

Lambuth History and Archives

The Lambuth campus has a rich history. Several institutions have called this campus home over time: MCFI; Lambuth College, later known as Lambuth University; and now the University of Memphis at Lambuth. Here at the library, we preserve our campus history through digital and physical archives. Review this guide to learn more about Lambuth history!

Richard E. Womack Chapel, black and white photo

Richard E. Womack Chapel

The Richard E. Womack Chapel, completed in 1957 and occupying a commanding position at the center of the quadrangle, emphasized the centrality of religion in the life of Lambuth University.

Memphis Conference Female Institute building, black and white photo

Memphis Conference Female Institute

Memphis Conference Female Institute (MCFI) began in 1843 as an educational institution for young women, under the auspices of the Memphis Conference of Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

Group of women college students stands with a sign entitled

Euzelian Literary Society

The Euzelian Literary Society, one of two literary circles, was one of many societies enjoyed by the ladies of MCFI.

Man's headshot with glasses and a beard, Walter Russel Lambuth, black and white photo

Walter Russell Lambuth

Lambuth College was named for Walter Russell Lambuth, born in Shanghai, China, of missionary parents. 

Academic building with surrounding trees, black and white photo

Lambuth College

Lambuth College was opened on September 10th, 1924.

Composite of seven headshots of men and women faculty, black and white photo

The First Faculty

Members of Lambuth's first faculty were Sarah V. Clement (English); Katherine Clement (languages); Marvin Edward Eagle (history and physical education); Arthur D. Oxley (biology); Emory Earl Walden (mathematics); J.R. Walker (religion); and Lousie Mercer (director of fine arts).

Groups of students study in the library, black and white photo

Library in the Administration Building

The library at Lambuth College was located on the first floor of the Administration Building in the 1920s and housed reference books and special subject references.

A woman student plays tennis, a man student plays golf, a man student plays basketball, and a woman student competes in archery, 4  black and white photos

Athletics in 1941

Tennis, golf, basketball, and archery are represented in this 1941 composite.

Portrait of a man wearing a suit, black and white photo

Dr. Luther L. Gobbel

Dr. Luther L. Gobbel became the second president of Lambuth College in 1953, having arrived on campus to meet the faculty and student body on October 12th, 1952.

Students study at tables in the Luther L. Gobbel Library, black and white photo

Luther L. Gobbel Library

Luther L. Gobbel Library, first occupied in fall 1961, was built with funds contributed by the Kresge Foundation and other contributors.

Large group of students who form the Black Student Union pose for a photo, black and white photo

Black Student Union

The Black Student Union was one of the largest student organizations in 1972 and sponsored social nights, talent events, Martin Luther King services, Black Extravaganza, Ebony Ball, and Black Band Day.

Group of student pose for a photo for the Social Work Club, black and white photo

Social Work Club

The Social Work Club was organized in September 1978 for those students interested in social work as a profession.

Football players in uniform gather for a photo, black and white photo


At the first football game in 38 years, the Eagles set the field in blue and white.

Students, parents, and others cheer on Lambuth football from the stands, black and white photo

Eagle Spirit

Fans catch the Eagle spirit during a Lambuth football game in 1985.

International students pose in front of various country's flags, black and white photo

International Banquet

Students and friends are shown together after the International Banquet in 1991. Lambuth enrollment included 43 international students that year.

A group of students and their sponsor gather in Mexico with a mountain in the background, black and white photo

Study Abroad

Study abroad opportunities flourished over the years. In 1996, this group of students studied in Mexico.

4 students dressed in suits and hats sing onstage, black and white photo

Guys and Dolls

The 1989-1999 theatre opened with the musical Guys and Dolls. Main cast members were Jack Seabury, Bob Brown, Jamie Boyd, and Christie Garrett.