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Featured Alumni Profile (Jan. 2015)
Our Alumna of the Month is none other than our "Queen" of the College, Dr. Clara Denwiddie Hewitt. Dr. Hewitt has been a Lane Lady since 1952…a total of 63 years. After matriculating at Lane, she received her master’s degree from Clark Atlanta University in 1957. Dr. Hewitt also completed advanced doctoral studies at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and received the Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 2007 from Lane College.
There is not enough time in the day to express our gratitude to our beloved Dr. Hewitt. Down through the years, she has been responsible for bringing many renowned speakers, authors, plays, musicians, and poets to the campus for the cultural enrichment of our students. To name a few: The Brown Sisters (Brown vs. Board of Education), U.S. Representatives Harold Ford and John Lewis; Author Ralph Eubanks; Jazz Musician Denise Thimes; Comedian Jeda "Miss Dupree" Jones; Actor Clifton Davis; Poet Rebera E. Foster; and Dr. Joy Baker; the grand niece of Mrs. Mary Johnson Lane, the wife of President J.F. Lane who was the son of Bishop Isaac Lane. Dr. Hewitt serves as the Chair of the Lane College Archives Committee. For that reason, in 2003 the door to the 2nd floor suite of the Chambers-McClure Academic Center, was blessed to have the name "Clara D. Hewitt Archives Room" placed on it Dr. Hewitt was also very instrumental as the chair of the Committee to dedicate the Archives to Dr. Anna L. Cooke, author of Lane College’s History, on December 3, 2005. Dr. Hewitt was quite involved in establishing the Donald E. Hollowell Archives, which was named in memory of the Lanite who was the personal attorney for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many of you are familiar with the Jennie E. Lane Lecture Series. It was established by Dr. Hewitt in 1993. She also served as the 7th lecturer of this series.
In 1991, Dr. Hewitt served as Director of the Re-accreditation Self Study which resulted in the College’s reaffirmation by the Commission of Colleges and Universities of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In 1982, Dr. Hewitt served as Chairperson of the 1982 Centennial Year-Long Celebration under the administration of President Herman Stone.
Dr. Hewitt is a member of St. Paul CME church in Jackson, TN where she has worn many hats including: traveling to Haiti as a part of the Fifth Episcopal District; member of the local and district Missionary societies, member of the St. Paul Church Building Committee; Chair, Pew and Pulpit Selection committee, and Lay Ministry. Dr. Hewitt is a proud board member of the United Way, Mayor’s Diversity Team; Church Women United, NAACP, Life member of the Lane College National Alumni Association, Madison County Economic Study Group, and a distinguished member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority , Nu Sigma Chapter. Dr. Hewitt served as campus advisor for the Alpha Gamma chapter of Lane College for over 30 years.
If time would permit, we could go on about all of the awards Dr. Hewitt has received, including 40 years of service to TRIO Programs in 2006, Outstanding Advocate Award, Emancipation Award, Educator of the Year Award, The Walter O. Mason Award, Outstanding Alumni Award, etc….
She is the wife of former Lane College Band Director, the late Dr. Oliver W. Hewitt, and is the proud mother of two children, Lawrence Paul Hewitt of Chattanooga, TN and Nicole Hewitt-Anderson, Assistant Professor of History at Lane College. On any given day, you might see Dr. Hewitt and her beloved grandson, Leonard Nicholas Anderson, at the local shopping centers in Jackson. We will simply say we salute this epitome of a Lane Lady and all of her accomplishments by saying she is our Alumna of the Month!