AutoZone Liberty Bowl to Honor
Priscilla Presley 
with Distinguished Citizen Award

Event will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital


Priscilla Presley – business entrepreneur, actress, producer, author and philanthropist – will be the guest of honor and will receive the AutoZone Liberty Bowl’s most prestigious recognition, the Distinguished Citizen Award, on June 24.

Priscilla Presley, who was the driving force behind the opening of Graceland® to the public, will be here to receive the award on Sunday, June 24 at the Hilton Memphis Hotel.  A cocktail reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the award presentation at 6:30 p.m.  A live auction and silent auction will also be held during the evening, with 100% of all proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  The 24th Annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl Golf Classic will be held the following day, Monday, June 25 at Ridgeway Country Club.

“Just like Graceland, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl is one of Memphis’ great treasures,” said Priscilla Presley.  “It is a great honor to be recognized as their 2018 Distinguished Citizen Award recipient.  Many exceptional American icons in business, sports and entertainment have received this award and I very much appreciate the AutoZone Liberty Bowl including me on this list of incredible individuals.”

“Priscilla joins a long list of great Americans who have distinguished themselves and reached the pinnacle of their chosen field,” said Steve Ehrhart, Executive Director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.  “We are proud to include Priscilla among the luminaries who have been honored by the AutoZone Liberty Bowl during our long history.”

Priscilla defied all the accountants, lawyers and managers who wanted to sell Graceland in the late 1970’s.  Priscilla had the singular vision and passion to open her former home to the public and develop Graceland into one of the most well-known and iconic destinations in the world.  Her efforts have brought millions of visitors and hundreds of millions of dollars of economic development to Memphis. 

In her business career, Priscilla founded several successful businesses and is still active today.

Priscilla’s acting career has spanned decades.  She was one of the dramatic stars of the long-running, hit TV series “Dallas” and also displayed her acting skills as a comedic star in the popular “Naked Gun” movies.  She is still active today on both stage and screen.

In 2016 and 2017, Priscilla produced two acclaimed, chart-topping albums, “If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,” and “The Wonder of You: Elvis with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.” Most recently, she was Executive Producer of the new HBO documentary feature film, “Elvis Presley: The Searcher,” debuting on HBO later this month.

Priscilla’s philanthropic endeavors include a long-time position as an Ambassador of the Dream Foundation, granting last wishes to terminally ill adults. Her love of animals has led to her great support of the Humane Society of the United States, lobbying on Capitol Hill to urge members of Congress to cosponsor the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to protect Tennessee Walking Horses.

About the Distinguished Citizen Award:

As the 7th oldest bowl game in America, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl was founded on the principles of freedom, patriotism and liberty. One of the Bowl’s time-honored traditions is the annual presentation of the Distinguished Citizen Award. The award has been presented to a cross section of prominent Americans from a wide range of professions, including military commanders, governors and congressmen, as well as leaders in business, medicine, education, entertainment and sports.

Previous honorees include St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital founder Danny Thomas; U.S. Army General Kenneth Tovo; Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Peter Doherty; FedEx founder Fred Smith; AutoZone founder Pitt Hyde; U.S. Navy Admiral William Lawrence and Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson. Legends from the sports world such as Paul “Bear” Bryant, Bobby Bowden, Lou Holtz, Tony Dungy, Lee Corso, Darrell Waltrip, Dick Vitale, Archie Manning and Tim McCarver have also received the award.

Individual seats for the dinner may be purchased for $100 or a table of ten (10) seats may be purchased for $1,000. The dinner includes buffet dinner, cocktails and wine. To reserve a table or individual seat, please call the AutoZone Liberty Bowl at (901) 795-7700 or CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE.

2016 Zinn Volunteer of the Year

AZLB Volunteer of the Year Bob Patterson

The AutoZone Liberty Bowl is proud to honor Bob Patterson with the 2016 Zinn Volunteer of the Year Award. The award is given annually to an individual who has gone above and beyond in their service and volunteerism on behalf of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Patterson is a long-time volunteer, board member and community supporter of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The award is named in honor of Harry Zinn, a very dedicated volunteer when the Bowl moved to Memphis 54 years ago. 

Patterson received the award at the AutoZone Liberty Bowl’s spring kick-off event on April 13 at the Hilton Memphis Hotel.

Patterson’s involvement in football stretches back more than 50 years, as a player, coach, and administrator. Patterson grew up in New Jersey, starring in every sport at Penns Grove High School, earning 13 varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball and track. In 1950, he received the William J. Miles Award for being the Outstanding High School Athlete and received a football scholarship to the University of Tennessee. At UT he was a part of a National Champion and SEC Champion team.

After two seasons at UT, Patterson transferred to the University of Memphis where he lettered in football his final two years. In 1953, he was named Most Valuable Player of the Memphis Tigers.

In 1954, he was first-team Associated Press Little All-American and Honorable Mention All-American. Upon graduation, Patterson served in the military and played for the Elgin Air Force Base team, where he was named “All Air Force” and “All Service”. Patterson enjoyed a long coaching career, serving as an assistant coach at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, University of Memphis, Texas Tech and 13 years at Vanderbilt University.

In 1981, he was named Athletics Director at the University of Memphis. He later coached the defensive line and was a player personnel executive with the Memphis Showboats of the USFL before retiring from coaching in 1986. Patterson has continued his involvement with football with part-time pro scouting stints for the New England Patriots, New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens.

Patterson’s many honors include Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Penns Grove Athletic Hall of Fame, All-Time Tiger Team of the University of Memphis, M Club Hall of Fame, All-American Football Foundation, All-American Football Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and Distinguished American Award from the AutoZone Liberty Bowl and the Memphis Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
Leigh Shockey Named President of the 59th AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Leigh Shockey, Chairman and CEO of Drexel Chemical Company, has been elected President of the 2017 AutoZone Liberty Bowl Festival Association. Shockey is a longtime board member of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Festival Association.

“One of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl’s key missions is to showcase Memphis to the rest of the world through the various year-round community events conducted by the Association,” said Shockey. “I’m proud to serve as President this year, as our events shine a positive light on Memphis and create community pride for local citizens. In addition, we will continue to share the life-saving message of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through our events during the year.”
“Leigh has been a strong supporter and advocate of the Bowl and all our activities for many years. We’re excited about the energy, enthusiasm and dedication Leigh brings to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl,” said Steve Ehrhart, Executive Director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

In addition to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Shockey is also involved with several other local community organizations including: University of Memphis Board of Visitors, Tennessee Board of Regents, Greater Memphis Chamber (Chairman), Memphis in May International Festival and Rock N’ Soul Museum.

Leigh holds a Bachelors of Science degree in International Business from the University of Tennessee – Martin and was appointed Honorary Consul to Canada in 2014.

In addition to Shockey, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Festival Association also elected these officers for 2017:

Scott Barber                                           Chairman
Bill Kinkade                                            Vice President
Bill Giles                                                 Secretary
Chris Moore                                            Treasurer

To purchase tickets to the 2017 AutoZone Liberty Bowl, call (901) 795-7700 or CLICK HERE.

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Announces 2018 Game Date and Time
2018 Game Date Website new
The 60th Annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl will be played December 31 at 2:45 PM CST and will be televised on ESPN. More AutoZone Liberty Bowl games have been played on the popular December 31 afternoon date than any other date over the Bowl’s 60-year history.

“December 31st at 2:45 PM is a great date and time for fans to attend the game and for those around the world who will be watching on ESPN,” said Steve Ehrhart, Executive Director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. “The AutoZone Liberty Bowl is proud to secure this much coveted television window as part of ESPN’s New Year’s weekend lineup of games. The December 31st date provides the AutoZone Liberty Bowl a terrific opportunity to showcase two outstanding universities from the SEC and Big 12, the Memphis community and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

“The AutoZone Liberty Bowl has become a huge part of the New Year’s weekend celebration in Memphis,” stated Ehrhart. “The afternoon of December 31st is a key part of the long holiday weekend. We look forward to hosting thousands of out of town visitors who will enjoy ringing in the New Year with the Bowl and celebrating after the game at a massive party on Beale Street!”

About the AutoZone Liberty Bowl:

- The AutoZone Liberty Bowl was founded in 1959, making it the seventh oldest bowl game in America

- In 2018, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl is celebrating its Diamond Anniversary – 60 years

- 61 different universities have participated in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl

- The Bowl’s 60-year history has featured many of college football’s greatest coaches and players: Bear Bryant, Steve Spurrier, Urban Meyer, Gary Patterson,               Kirby Smart and Heisman Trophy winners Ernie Davis, Terry Baker, Doug Flutie and Bo Jackson. As well as recent star players such as A. J. Green, Dak                   Prescott and Anthony Miller.

- The AutoZone Liberty Bowl has an annual economic impact of $25 million to $30 million on the local Memphis economy

For tickets, call the AutoZone Liberty Bowl at (901) 795-7700 or click here

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December 31, 2018 - 2:45 PM CST
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