SAU remembers trailblazer and icon Dr. Kathleen Mallory

By Nikki Henderson |

Published 07/23 2014 10:41AM

Updated 07/23 2014 10:47AM

Students and faculty are celebrating the life of African American trailblazer and Southern Arkansas University icon Dr. Kathleen Mallory.

SAU's associate dean for Multiculturalism and Diversity Cledis Stuart said, "Dr. Mallory was a compassionate fighter for equality all around her. It did not matter who the person was, she took on the fight as if it was her own. She was a true drum major for the rights of others. She will be sorely missed, but her legacy will live forever."

According to SAU Historian Dr. James Willis, Mallory was one of the first two black students to attend classes at the then Southern State College while she was teaching at Stephens and acquiring her M.Ed. from the University of Arkansas.

In 1971, Mallory was Hope-Hempstead County Teacher of the Year. She taught in various public schools in Crossett, Camden, and Hope as well as at Mississippi Valley College, being a proponent for education and student success. She even taught former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

On Aug. 29, 1974, she became the first black faculty member in the general education program at SSC.
Dr. Mallory's extraordinary contributions to SAU her directorship of the National Writing Project program that led to her founding of, and securing endowed funding for, the annual Youth Writing Festival hosted by SAU and her years of service to the curriculum activities of the National Council of Teachers of English which included a two-year term on the Commission on the English Curriculum of the NCTE; her presidency of the Higher Education Section of the Arkansas Education Association; and her role on the Advisory Committee for the Voices & Visions TV series on American poets.

The Kathleen Mallory Distinguished Lecture Series honors Mallory's many contributions to Southern Arkansas University, to the community, and to the state of Arkansas by bringing scholars working in the fields of African Diasporic and African American Studies to SAU to share their scholarship with students, faculty, staff, and members of the community.

To contribute to the Kathleen Mallory Distinguished Lecture Series endowment fund, please contact the SAU Foundation at (870) 235-4078 or visit

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