Supported by the Memphis Annual Conference of the Methodist Church, the Memphis Conference Female Institute (MCFI) in Jackson, Tennessee, was chartered on December 2, 1843 with Lorenzo Lea serving as first president of a school comprising one large brick building on South Royal Street. A.W. Jones succeeded as president in 1853 and he and his family owned the school and served as both faculty and administrators. Jones' son, Amos Blanche Jones, became president in 1878 but, after he left to become president of Huntsville Female Institute, his father returned and served until his death in 1892. Dr. Howard W. Key replaced Mrs. Jones, the acting president, in 1893 and was president until 1897. A dome was added to the building, a gymnasium was built, and tennis, croquet and basketball became popular activities. Degrees included the mistress of English literature, artium baccalaureus, artium magistra, mistress of science and mistress of letters. A.B. Jones returned as president in 1897 and remained until 1911. Towers were added to the building and the kindergarten program was discontinued. Jones was succeeded by Rev. Dr. S.A. Steele (1911-1913), Rev. H.G. Hawkins (1913-1917) and Rev. R.E. Naylor (1917-1920). Dr. J.W. Blackard became acting president in 1920 and under his leadership the charter of MCFI was amended, the campus moved to a new location and co-educational Lambuth College was established on May 12, 1924.