About Moore Tech

Moore Tech (Wm. R. Moore College of Technology) is one of America's oldest vocational institutions.

Moore Tech

Founded in 1909, the college is private, non-profit, and operated and governed by a self-perpetuating board of trustees. Operation is entirely independent of any other college system

The college is the result of a life-long dream of William R. Moore, who was born near Huntsville, AL, in 1830. At the death of both parents, Moore, 12, was forced to leave school and work bare-footed as a farm hand for room and board and $2 a month.

At Age 15 he went to work as a sales clerk in Nashville. At 26 Moore moved to New York City, where he spent three years as a wholesale dry goods salesman. He moved to Memphis in 1859 and opened Wm. R. Moore & Co., wholesale dry goods distributor.

Mr. Moore served two years as a U.S. Congressman from 1881 to 1883 and two years in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1889 to 1891. Mr. Moore married, but had no children. He died in 1909 and was buried at Forest Hill Cemetery.

The bulk of his estate was designated to establish a school. Although substantial at the time, the bequest of $500,000 was not enough to begin his dream. A group of prominent Memphians formed a board of trustees to invest the funds. After thirty years of investing, plus the bequest of the balance of his estate at his wife’s death, funds were adequate to purchase the land and begin construction of the school at its current location in 1938.

The first class convened in January of 1939, and Mr. Moore’s dream has continued uninterrupted. Initially no tuition was charged. Today approximately 65 percent of costs are paid from the college trust fund. The college curricula has evolved over the years to keep up with the needs of a changing job market. Moore Tech has provided important vocational training to tens of thousands of students throughout the mid-south.

Moore Tech’s Mission Statement

The mission of William R. Moore College of Technology (Moore Tech) is to provide students with the training and skills necessary to become successful in business and industry. It is the goal of the college to provide students with a working knowledge of the skills needed to enter employment in the program area of their choice.