In 1958 Memphis University School Instructor in English Bill Hatchett crossed the Atlantic with a group of students, in what would be the first of many MUS study excursions to Europe. Memphis architect Metcalf Crump, MUS Class of 1960, had the good fortune of joining that inaugural eight-week adventure abroad.

MUS story

Architect Met Crump, center, created a travel endowment to help MUS students participate in school trips abroad. He announced it while speaking about his MUS experience during a school chapel last spring. Crump is pictured here with MUS Arts Department Chair Grant Burke and Headmaster Pete Sanders.

“The tour introduced me to hundreds of important, historic buildings,” Crump said. “It galvanized my decision to become an architect.”

Crump went on to get his bachelor’s degree at Sewanee, returned to Europe to attend the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and eventually enrolled at Harvard University, where he completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture. He founded The Crump Firm Architects in Memphis in 1970 and began an impressive series of projects that have enhanced the larger community – the City of Bartlett’s Performing Arts Center, Rhodes College’s Buckman Hall, the University of Memphis FedEx Institute of Technology, and many more. His most recent project has been the $412 million advanced research center at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, slated to open in 2021.

Throughout his long career, Crump has maintained a close relationship with his hometown alma mater, overseeing architectural design for much of the building expansion at MUS. And in 2019, still grateful for that life-changing trip abroad 60 years earlier, Crump established an endowment fund in memory of teacher Bill Hatchett to provide scholarships for students to participate in similar study abroad programs offered by the school. Earnings from the endowment will provide grants for students to participate in study abroad led by MUS faculty or otherwise sanctioned by the school. As a planned-giving endowment, Crump’s gift will benefit future generations of MUS students interested in broadening their horizons, much like he did.

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