Memphis Mensa—40 years old and growing!
Welcome to Mensa and/or Memphis Mensa. The Memphis group is an eclectic bunch of people who love to congregate to share opinions, reminisce with old friends, make new friends and just about any other reason that the imagination can conceive.
We hope to see you at some of our upcoming events, so check them out on our calendar, choose something that sounds interesting and join us for the camaraderie. You can also sign-up to receive an e-mail of events that spring up after the monthly newsletter has been published, as well as e-mail reminders of published events.
Our monthly dinner meeting is the second Tuesday of each month and usually includes a guest speaker. We have an active book discussion group that meets monthly and we occasionally get together for a meal, drinks and friendly conversation on Friday evenings.
Memphis Mensa has online Facebook and Yahoo! fora that you can sign up for by e-mailing the mods (see Contact for email addresses). These are non-moderated fora and discussions can sometimes become “heated.” Keep in mind that most of the participants are also good friends who may be arguing over the latest topic one day and enjoying a beer together the next. Sometimes over-zealousness regarding a particular topic may be misconstrued as bickering or fighting among members, but this is not the case. We do ask that all forum members avoid the use of profanity, slander and name-calling.
Mensans love to use acronyms and we have an abundance of them that are used in conversations, on the website, the forum and in the newsletter. So you won’t be puzzling over what’s being said, we’ve provided a Mensanary of common acronyms to get you up to speed on our special vernacular.
If you have any questions about Memphis Mensa, please e-mail our membership officer at: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact any of our officers listed on the Contact page.
Memphis Mensa – Then and Now
The earliest records located indicate that there were only four Mensans in the state of Tennessee in 1962, with three of them living in the Memphis area. In the August 1971 issue of InterLoc, Harper Fowley (the RVC) announced that “Memphis Mensa has been organized and has named Robert D. Russell as LocSec.” By the end of November, there were 11 members in the Memphis group and Bryan Cottingham was the LocSec.
In June of 1972, Brian C. Moth became the LocSec and there were 25 members in the local group. According to the January 1973 Mensa Bulletin, “the Big SIG in Memphis is the Memphis Mensa Mutual, an investment group that has shown a 61% profit in 16 months.” At the end of 1972 the group had grown to 33 members.
During 1973, the untitled newsletter of the local group became the Memphis Mensa Newsletter, membership numbers remained the same and the monthly meeting was held on the third Friday of each month.
By 1974, Memphis Mensa had by-laws, elections were being held each February and Eunice Fitzgerald was listed as the proctor and as the Tennessee Coordinator for Gifted Children. The group had grown to 57 members by the end of 1974.
In 1975, the name of the newsletter was changed to the Mensapause and the group continued to grow to 74 members. Sometime during 1976, the Mensapause ceased to be published and there is no record of any newsletter again until around March of 1977, when the Memphis Mensa Newsletter reappeared, edited by Dr. Dawn Willis. Growth continued and by October 1977 there were 92 members. In 1978, the membership count was recorded at 103. Harry Chapman was the LocSec and Joe Davis was the editor of the newsletter.
The first Memphis RG was held in May of 1982. RG activities included a lecture on body language and a trip to the Pink Palace Museum to view the “Treasures of Egypt.”
Today Memphis Mensa has 253 members: 187 male and 66 females. Forty-three personals have been members of Mensa for over 20 years and five of our members joined Mensa over 35 years ago.
Members of the Memphis group are located in four states with 204 living in Tennessee, 22 in Arkansas, 26 in Mississippi and one in Missouri.
The newsletter is the Memphis Mensa Newsletter and the monthly meeting date is on the second Tuesday of each month. There are nine proctors testing for the group. Local group activities include Temperance (Friday night happy hour), an assortment of parties and lectures, a monthly Gifted Children’s event, Firearm Friendly SIG and various other activities scattered throughout each month.
Thanks to Mr. Vince Bonzagni, the American Mensa Historian (1996), for the historical information on Memphis Mensa.