Carolyn F. Blakely, Ph.D, of Pine Bluff was inducted into the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame Aug. 30 at the Statehouse Convention Center at Little Rock.
Blakely, an advisory board member of FBT Bank & Mortgage, is also Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Other Women’s Hall of Fame inductees were: Karen Flake, Sue Griffin, Raye Jean Jordan Montague, Bessie Grace Boehm Moore, Florence Beatrice Smith Price, Mary Steenburgen and Annabelle Davis Clinton Imber Tuck.
“Dr. Blakely is a life-long educator and active member of several civic organizations. She is recognized for many achievements in education that include being the first woman to serve as chancellor of a public, four-year institution of higher education in Arkansas, developing the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Honors College, and receiving the NAACP Education Award,” according to a news release.
Infinity Washington, a Dollarway High School senior, also attended the ceremony as winner of the FBT “Simple Night Out” contest.
To honor Blakely’s induction into the Women’s Hall of Fame, FBT sponsored the competition, which was open to female high school students throughout Jefferson County.
“Simple Night Out” allowed entrants to submit a two-minute video sharing how to help improve communication practices within their community.
“Dr. Blakely’s induction presented a great opportunity to expose a student to successful women of diverse professional backgrounds,” said Joni Alexander, director of Jefferson County community outreach at FBT. “Infinity’s submission was phenomenal and exceeded our expectations.”
As the winner, Washington received a dress donated by Dillard’s, a makeover from Color Coated Creative and hair and styling, courtesy of Uptown Salon & Boutique. Sissy’s Log Cabin also loaned Washington diamond jewelry for the evening, according to the news release.
“Meeting Dr. Blakely has inspired me,” Washington said. “Seeing a successful black woman from my community shows me that my skin color shouldn’t prevent me from reaching my goals in life.”