Dr. Kathleen Mallory Lectureship
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. This project will help fund the Mallory Lecture Endowment, which will produce annual funds to bring diverse speakers to campus each year.
Mallory was one of the first two black students to attend classes at what was then Southern State College (SSC) while she was teaching at Carver School in Stephens, AR. She taught in various public schools in Crossett, Camden, and Hope, as well as at Mississippi Valley College. Mallory graduated from Philander Smith College in 1955, and earned her master’s degree from the University of Arkansas in 1957. On August 29, 1974, she became the first black faculty member in the general education program at SSC. As an English professor at SSC and later Southern Arkansas University, she made extraordinary contributions to the university and to the improvement of English curriculum. After spending more than half a century in the classroom as an educator, Dr. Kathleen Mallory retired from Southern Arkansas University in 2010. Mallory educated students, invested in their lives, and made an impact on their futures. Looking back at her career, she stated “I’ve always been happy to know that my students were successful.”
Mallory was actively involved in community efforts included being a charter advocate for the Single Parent Scholarship Fund, Magnolia Housing Commission, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She begin the Youth Writing Festival at SAU. The Festival was developed from her summer writing classes to get students more involved in writing and to recognize the outstanding works from students across the region.
The Mulerider School’s Centennial History written by James Willis noted Dr. Kathleen Mallory and the lectureship created in her honor. Admirers of Mallory, led by Dr. Linda Tucker of the English department, began the lecture series that brought to campus each year prominent African American scholars. Dr. Kyra Gaunt, associate professor of ethnomusicology at New York University, was the 2004 inaugural speaker in the Kathleen Mallory Distinguished Lecture Series, which later featured such renowned professors as Dr. Robin D. G. Kelley of the University of Southern California and Dr. Melissa Harris-Lacewell of Princeton.
The next Mallory Lecture is scheduled for April 4 and will feature SAU graduate, Ms. Donika Ross Kelly. Kelly was a nominee for the National Book Award in poetry, holds a PhD from Vanderbilt, and currently teaches in New York.