Memphis Athletic Department officials announced today that the grand opening for the Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway/University of Memphis Athletic Hall of Fame, located at 570 Normal Street, will take place on August 30, from 5:30 PM to 7 PM. The ribbon-cutting ceremony, which will feature basketball great Penny Hardaway, Athletic Director R.C. Johnson and University President Dr. Shirley C. Raines, will take place on the front steps of the facility at 5:30 PM and tours of the facility will begin immediately.
“We are very excited to be able to have the official grand opening of the Penny Hardaway/University of Memphis Athletic Hall of Fame during the same week as our football season opener against Mississippi State,” said Johnson. “The opening of this facility will certainly add to the ambiance of the week for Tiger fans and we want everyone to come out on the 30th and take the walk through Memphis athletic history.”
The Hardaway/Athletic Hall of Fame became the centerpiece of the new Athletic Office Building addition, which opened in January of 2011. With the completion of construction of the building, efforts turned to compiling the 100-year history of athletics at the U of M and gathering artifacts collected by former lettermen and supporters.
Over 6,200 male and female letter winners have been identified since the school first opened its doors in the fall of 1912 and photographs of more than 4,000 of those student-athletes were collected for one of the three interactive databases. Memorabilia was gathered from many of the more than 400 inductees in the M Club Hall of Fame, including track national championship medals from Ed Hammonds, football jerseys from such noted players as Bob Rush, Keith Wright and Bob Ford, the basketball jersey of the late Larry Finch, the bat used by then-home run leader Terry Pressgrove and the boxing letter jacket of former Tiger football running back Frank Massa.