An Uncommon Journey

Product image 1An Uncommon Journey - Leadership Books
Product image 2An Uncommon Journey - Leadership Books

Regular price $26.95

Dr. Shirley Raines, now a much sought after speaker, consultant, and author, earned her way from a humble farm in Tennessee to the office of the President of the University of Memphis as the first woman president of that institution. In this frank and heartfelt volume, Dr. Raines shares how this unlikely journey transpired. She describes challenges she faced and lessons she learned along the way that may encourage other young women to pursue careers as leaders, whatever the leadership title. She tells about how special, loving people in her life guided and supported her along the way, including the touching story of how a professor saved her from giving up on her college education before she even got started. The narrative show how Dr. Raines starting as a young woman prepared for every opportunity by doing her homework. Those around her who came to respect her called her “spunky” and labeled her a “steel magnolia.”

Read how Dr. Raines developed successful relationships with famous and powerful people in every walk of life including other university presidents, high profile celebrities, state governors, and wealthy philanthropists. At the same time, discover how she never forgot the working men and women who served in support roles and kept the gears turning. This biography/autobiography is a must-read for people, especially women, considering or pursuing a leadership role in education or related fields. And, an enjoyable read for the rest.



Shirley Raines, Ed.D., has enjoyed a successful career in early childhood education.  She served as a classroom teacher and center director as well as a faculty member at universities in Kentucky, Florida, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Alabama.  She was the first woman to hold the position of president of the University of Memphis, where she served for 12 years.  Shirley has served on the national committee for Teacher of the Year and was inducted into the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame.

Dr. Raines is the author of 15 books for teachers, two for children, and her most recent release is a leadership book. She is the author of the popular Story S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-r-s series of books on using children’s literature in the curriculum.  She speaks on children’s literature, creativity, and to professional groups about leadership.  In a very active retirement, she continues to speak, consult, train, and write.  She lives in Tennessee with her husband, retired professor Robert Canady.

You may also contact Shirley at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.


"Dr. Shirley Raines has that rare talent of being able to speak in front of hundreds of people and every person in the room will feel that she is personally speaking to them. "
David Cox, Campus Administrator

"Whether in a board room or before 18,000 at the FedEx Forum, Dr. Raines immediately connects with people. She embodies what leadership is – character, capability and being a catalyst for positive change.”
– Thomas Kadien, Vice President, International Paper

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