3/9/2011 - Anderson, Stovall inducted into Women's Hall of Fame
Judson Spotlight On...
EVELYN ANDERSON AND RUTH STOVALL INDUCTED INTO ALABAMA WOMEN'S HALL OF FAME
By Bill Mathews
Two innovative women educators, Evelyn Daniel Anderson and Ada Ruth Stovall, were inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame on March 10 at Judson College.
"This is truly hallowed ground," said Anderson's nephew, Roland Bird Anderson Jr. of Charlotte.
"God gave my aunt a position to advocate and she advocated!"
Evelyn Anderson (1926-1998) pioneered the rights of those with physical handicaps and inspired her native city of Greensboro to provide accommodations for the mobility disabled before being required by law to do so.
Anderson became a paraplegic at age four as the result of a spinal injury. She was never able to sit, stand or walk again and was confined to a gurney ("a rolling table"), but viewed her paraplegia only as a "physical inconvenience." She graduated with honors from Greensboro High School and with a double major (art and history) from Judson College.
Anderson began teaching at Greensboro High School in 1948 as an "unofficial art teacher in a vacant classroom" because an Alabama law prohibited hiring handicapped teachers. She inspired a new law and became the first handicapped professional hired by the Alabama public schools in 1954.
Anderson taught English and Spanish and served as guidance counselor at Greensboro High where she won numerous awards and honors including "Outstanding Educator" (1974), "Outstanding Counselor of the Year" (1975-76) and the "Alabama Handicapped Professional Woman of the Year" (1977). The "National Spinal Cord Injury Association" recognized her in 1993 as the oldest survivor of a spinal cord injury at that time.
The second inductee, Ruth Stovall (1913-2008), was active in affecting legislation on the state and national level concerning vocational education and consumer / homemaking education.
"Ruth established herself as a pioneer for women and was a true Southern lady," said induction speaker Dean Milla Boschung of the College of Human Environmental Sciences at the University of Alabama.
Boschung called Stovall her mentor and said "she modeled the highest level of leadership."
Stovall was born in Green Pond, graduated from the Alabama College for Women (now the University of Montevallo) and taught vocational home economics in high schools in Butler, Reform and Opelika.
At age 28 she was appointed District Supervisor of Home Economics over twelve Southwestern counties by the Alabama Department of Education. She later served as Assistant and then Associate Supervisor in Home Economics for the state.
In 1950, she became the State Supervisor of Vocational Home Economics in the State Department of Education and held that office for 22 years.
Active in visiting high school classes, judging science fairs and speaking before local and national organizations, Stovall's impact on education led to national recognition. She served on the boards of "Future Homemakers of America" and "Forecast Magazine." She was listed in "Who's Who in American Education" and in 1954 was named "Woman of the Year" by "Progressive Farmer Magazine." By 1956 Stovall was a member of the national advisory board of "New Homemakers of America" and served on the board of "Seventeen Magazine" from 1957-1959.
She was recognized by Alabama College of Women as its "Alumna of the Year" in 1958. Her professional influence nationally was evidenced by the award of "Honorary Life Membership" in the "American Vocational Association" in 1961.
Stovall was awarded the "Outstanding Service Award" by the American Vocational Association in 1976. In 1982 she was included as one of the nationwide ""Seventy Significant Leaders in Home Economics Education" and received the "Alabama Women of Leadership Award" in 1989. She was inducted as a charter member of the "Alabama Vocational Association Hall of Fame" in 1990 and the University of Montevallo awarded her its "Distinguished Home Economics Alumni Award" in 1991.
According to the AWHOF guidelines, a nominee must have been born in Alabama or made special contributions to the state and have been deceased for two years.
The AWHOF, founded in 1970, is housed in the A. Howard Bean Hall on the campus of Judson College in Marion.
Additional information is available on the AWHOF website at awhf.org.
*Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Department.