The Pine Bluff Branch of the National Association of University Women recently celebrated its National Day in the L.A. Davis Student Union Black and Gold Room at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

The Pine Bluff Branch of the National Association of University Women recently celebrated its National Day in the L.A. Davis Student Union Black and Gold Room at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

The featured speaker for this occasion was Sen. Stephanie Flowers. Flowers currently serves District 5, which comprises parts of Arkansas, Desha, Jefferson, Lincoln and Phillips counties. During the 88th General Assembly, Flowers served as the vice chairman of Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development. Her other legislative committee duties include membership on Joint Budget, Senate Judiciary, Senate Children and Youth and Senate Rules, Resolutions and Memorials. She is also a member of Legislative Joint Auditing. A native of Pine Bluff, Flowers is the daughter of the late Attorney W. Harold Flowers and educator Margaret Brown Flowers.

Special guests for this program were Cheryl Collins, director of theatre at UAPB, and UAPB student Desiree Lucas, who performed scenes and selections from the play, “The Trial…..” written by Marcie Leslie.

The “Woman of the Year” was presented by NAUW member Sharon Nicholson. Earnestine Grant was named the NAUW 2011-2012 “Woman of the Year”. Grant has been a member of the Pine Bluff branch for 10 years. She has diligently served in the following positions: assistant recording secretary, recording secretary, telephone courtesy, and co-chairperson of the Scholarship Brunch. Grant is currently the chairperson for the Single Parent Committee, which is a mentoring program designed to assist a single parent to enhance her growth and development.

The Pine Bluff Branch inaugurated the “Woman of the Year” award in 1980. This award is given to a member for their notable and unselfish service to the principles of the branch. The chairperson of the “Woman of the Year” committee is Barbara Grayson. Other committee members were Birlee D. Lever, Marie Coleman, Anola Byers, Frankie Hemphill, Alice Horton, Viola Ellison, Josephine Adams, Sharon Nicholson and Sharon Hildreth.

As a part of giving back to the community, members of the Pine Bluff Branch of the National Association of University Women through the PROUD Project donated backpacks filled with school supplies, to be presented to the Division of Children and Family Services of the Jefferson County Department of Human Services. Nicholson, chairperson for the PROUD Project, along with the members of NAUW, has committed to making this donation each semester. Other PROUD Project committee members are Dovie Burl, Eunita Seals, Erma Carter, Mary Tripplett, Atty. Pamela Johnson, Etta Kuykendall, Varnell Wallace and Mary Brentley.

National Day is observed by the members of the National Association of University Women, celebrating the founding of the organization and the programs emphasizing their national theme, “Progressive Women: Redefining Community Service in the 21st Century”. Bunia Baxter and Mary Benjamin are the co-chairs of the National Day committee. Other committee members are Bettye J. Williams, national second vice president of NAUW, Florine McDonald, Mary Tripplett and Margaret Boyd-Owens.

Originally founded as the College Alumnae Club in 1910 by Mary Church Terrell, Sara Brown, Nancy Fairfax Brown, and Miss Mary Cromwell in Washington, D.C., the National Association of University Women was established and incorporated in 1924. The Pine Bluff Branch of NAUW was founded in 1945 by Katie B. Pierre.

Jewell Walker is president of the Pine Bluff Branch, Linda P. Armstrong is the South Central Section director and Dolores Y. Owens is the organization’s national president.