Rhodes to Award Honorary Degree to Spence L. Wilson

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Publication Date: 5/5/2009


Prominent Memphis businessman Spence L. Wilson, will receive the Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree at the 160th Commencement of Rhodes College on Saturday, May 16.

The ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. in Fisher Garden on the Rhodes campus. In the event of rain, commencement will take place at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church located at 70 N. Bellevue Blvd. President William E. Troutt will preside over the ceremony.

Wilson began his career in 1969 as assistant to his father Kemmons Wilson, founder of Holiday Inns. He currently is president of Kemmons Wilson Inc., a private investment firm, and he has served as a Rhodes Trustee for 38 years and chairman for the past nine.

With his wife Becky, Wilson created the Spence L. Wilson Service Scholarship Program and the Spence Wilson Faculty International Travel Fund at Rhodes. The college also has established the Spence L. Wilson Distinguished Chair in Humanities.

Wilson graduated from Memphis’ East High School in 1960 and holds a B.A. degree in economics from Vanderbilt University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.