Golfer Hollis Stacy said she never would have found such success without the pioneering women who came before her who wouldnt take no for an answer.
The Savannah native, who was inducted last year into the LPGA Hall of Fame, delivered the keynote address Thursday morning at Wesleyan College as part of the induction ceremony for the Georgia Women of Achievement.
The organization, which began in 1992, inducted writer Lollie Belle Moore Wylie; historian/journalist Mary Gregory Jewett; and cookbook writer Henrietta Stanley Dull into its hall of fame.
The organization came from an idea by former first lady Rosalynn Carter. One of its key founders was former Miss America Neva Langley Fickling, who died this past November. Fickling, who attended Wesleyan, was honored Thursday by fellow alumna Susan McDuffie, who played the colleges Aeolian Opus 1542 Goodwyn Candler-Panoz organ in tribute to her.
Stacy said that when she was growing up in Savannah, the Savannah Golf Club didnt allow women many opportunities to play the course. When she was growing up, the opportunities afforded women in sports were few, she said.
Weve certainly heard the word no a lot, Stacy said. Thank goodness there were women who were strong mentors to me, and strong enough to start Title IX.
Title IX is federal legislation passed in 1972 that made it illegal to deny women the same opportunities as men at any educational institution that receives federal funds. Because of that legislation, womens participation in sports has grown substantially ever since.
Stacy said the support she received from people across the state -- especially in the Savannah area -- allowed her to compete on an international stage throughout her career.
Its fantastic to be able to give back to the people who have given me so much, Stacy said after the event.
She noted that the women honored by the organization still serve as inspirations today.
Leigh Goff, president of the board of trustees for the Georgia Women of Achievement, said its a very thorough process to select its honorees, who must have been deceased for at least 10 years before consideration.
A lot of people were obvious choices, like Flannery OConnor or Margaret Mitchell, she said. Some of the other (inductees) were quieter, like Mrs. Dull.
Dull (1863-1964), a native of Laurens County, was best known for writing Southern Cooking, which sold across the nation and in seven other countries. As a widow living in Atlanta with five children, she worked as a caterer for Atlanta society and wrote for the food page of The Atlanta Journal for 20 years. During World War I, she cooked for more than 50,000 soldiers while serving as hostess of the Peachtree Street Soldiers Recreation House, where she was known affectionately as Mother Dull.
Wylie (1858-1923), was born in Alabama but grew up in Georgia. She became the society editor of The Atlanta Journal and was known for her poetry and music in addition to her journalism. She wrote the music for Georgia, the states official song until 1979, when it was replaced by Georgia On My Mind.
Jewett (1908-76), was a Decatur native who graduated from the University of Georgia in 1930. She co-founded the Georgia Trust in 1973, serving as that organizations first president. She was a leader in historic preservation. Then-Gov. Lester Maddox appointed her as state historic preservation officer, and she was the first Georgian to serve on the Council of the American Association of State and Local History.
Each inductee was the subject of a short documentary video produced by Georgia Public Broadcasting and screened during the ceremony.
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.