FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (1/22/96)
SHREVEPORT, LA -- The late civic leader and philanthropist Mary Amelia Douglas-Whited will be honored with a million-dollar Eminent Scholars Endowed Chair at Centenary College of Louisiana as the result of a gift to the college from her husband, Edwin F. Whited.
Centenary President Kenneth L. Schwab announced to the faculty today (Jan. 22, 1996) that the $600,000 gift will enable the college to establish the Mary Amelia Douglas-Whited Endowed Chair and to apply for $400,000 in state matching funds to complete the $1 million endowment.
Once the match is completed by the Louisiana Education Quality Support Fund, the gift will be "endowed in perpetuity," with its interest supporting an eminent scholar on the faculty.
"Mary Amelia had a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in psychology. Her abiding interest in the sciences and psychology, along with Centenary's growing national reputation in these areas, makes it appropriate to honor her in this way," Whited said.
A former Shreveporter who moved to Santa Fe, N.M. in 1977, Mrs. Whited was the former president and executive vice president of the Frost Foundation, Ltd., a charitable giving institution. In Shreveport, she was active in numerous civic organizations, including the Junior League of Shreveport, which she served as president, vice president, treasurer and assistant treasurer. She was a member of the boards of St. Mark's Episcopal Church Women's Auxiliary, the Shreveport Symphony Guild, Amanda Clark Home for the Aged, Toy Loan, American Cancer Society, Vocational Guidance Committee of the Caddo-Bossier Association for Retarded Children, Community Council, The Community Chest, Caddo-Bossier Mental Health Association and Historic Preservation of Shreveport.
Among her charitable work in Santa Fe, was service as a founding member and vice president of The Hospice Center, which located its home office in Santa Fe, as a board member of the Santa Fe Historic Foundation and a member of the St. Vincent Auxiliary.
She also served on the board of directors of Prescott College and the national Association of Junior Leagues of America, which she served as regional director, and was a member of the National Society of the Colonial Dames Association.
Mrs. Whited earned a B.S. degree in physics at Hollins College in Virginia and the M.A. degree in psychology, with an emphasis on Jungian analysis, from Goddard College in Vermont.
Edwin Whited, a descendant of a pioneer Shreveport family and a longtime civic leader, is a 1943 graduate of Centenary, a 1968 recipient of the Alumni Hall of Fame Award and a 1986 recipient of the college's honorary Doctor of Laws degree. For his outstanding service to the community he was awarded the Optimist's "Mr. Shreveport" Award in 1978. He is currently executive-in-residence at the Frost School of Business at Centenary.
While serving as a member of the Board of Trustees, he established the Great Teachers-Scholars Fund, the annual fund of the College, and in the mid 1970s announced a $1 million grant from the Frost Foundation to establish Centenary's School of Business.
The immediate Whited family includes a daughter, Mary Amelia Whited-Howell, who is president of the Frost Foundation and a 1988 Centenary graduate; son-in-law Philip Howell, a 1987 Centenary graduate; and grandson, Carter. The Howells, who reside in Santa Fe, N.M., continue their family's strong ties to Centenary as members of the President's Advisory Council.
"Edwin Whited has been a long-time and valued supporter of Centenary College. His personal commitment, wise counsel and generosity has influenced the lives of myriad Centenary students and faculty, and will continue to do so for generations to come," Dr. Schwab said. "It is most appropriate that an endowed chair will honor such an outstanding and forward-thinking civic leader as Mary Amelia Whited. We are pleased to be able to name this Eminent Scholars Chair in her memory."