2005 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Dawkins, Williamson, Harden, Gollott, Hewes, Hyde-Smith, Burton, Carmichael, Dearing, Frazier

Senate Concurrent Resolution 594

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, Dr. Katherine Rea, well-known and respected educator and humanitarian from Gulfport, Mississippi, passed away on Sunday, March 13, 2005; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Rea was reared in Meridian, Mississippi.  She attended Copiah-Lincoln Community College and Delta State University.  She taught in high schools prior to joining the University of Mississippi as a Counselor.  While at the University of Mississippi she earned a Masters Degree from Duke University and her Ph.D. from Ohio State University.  Dr. Rea served as a Counselor, Program Director of the Christian Association, Dean of Women, Professor of Higher Education and President of the American Association of University Professors.  As Professor of Education she taught the first course on "Women" long before "Women's Studies" was an academic subject.  She was a staunch friend for the early black students enrolled at Ole Miss; and

     WHEREAS, her philosophy as a teacher:  "Take the students where you find them and lift their vision for more intellectual inquiry."  She retired from the University of Mississippi as Professor Emeritus, having directed more doctoral students through their Ph.D. programs than any other professor at that time.  She was recognized at the University of Mississippi with the Mortar Board Award for "Outstanding Woman Faculty"; "Teacher of the Year, School of Education"; and at her retirement a piece of sculpture was placed in the School of Education in the name of Katharine Rea; and

     WHEREAS, during her years at Ole Miss, Dr. Rea was actively involved with the League of Women Voters (served as State President), American Association of University Women (served as local and state President), member of the State Board of Mississippi Association of Mental Health, The Mississippi Council on Human Relations, The Mississippi Humanities Council and the National Board of the YWCA.  Her work with the Mississippi Association of Women's Deans and Counselors is legendary.  She was the DEAN of the Deans; and

     WHEREAS, having taught in Gulfport High School and having served as its first Counselor, Dr. Rea loved the Gulf Coast.  The next day following her retirement from Ole Miss, she returned to Gulfport and entered into its civic life with unabated enthusiasm.  The civic organizations which claimed her membership found a leader.  On the Gulf Coast she participated in book clubs, the Rape Crisis Center, the Mental Health Center, Friends of the Library, the Gulf Coast Symphony Guild, the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, The Gulf Coast Opera Salon and the Cleophan Club.  She had been the "official fundraiser" for worthy community projects, and she worked tirelessly for the preservation of Jones Park on the Gulf Coast; and

     WHEREAS, Dr. Rea has been a leader in AAUW for more than half a century.  In her later years she has been a mentor to all.  AAUW has established an endowment fund for "Research and Projects" in her name.  The LWV recognized her efforts with membership with their "Thelma Workman Award."  The Gulf Coast Symphony Board of Directors honored her with an "Honorary Lifelong Membership."  The Gulf Coast Opera Salon presented her with their "Carmen Award" for outstanding contributions.  The Mississippi Humanities Council held her as an Advisory Member and honored her with its "Public Humanities Award" for her support of public humanities programs throughout the state.  Dr. Rea will long be remembered as an educator, as a social activist, but her record for "equality of opportunity" in Mississippi's turbulent 60's cannot be matched by any other woman in this state; and

     WHEREAS, her survivors include two brothers, four nieces and three nephews.  She also leaves several grandnieces and grandnephews to mourn her passing.  Dr. Rea had many, many friends on the Gulf Coast, throughout Mississippi and the nation.  She was a member of St. Marks Episcopal Church in Gulfport; and

     WHEREAS, it is with sadness that we note the passing of this most recognized humanitarian in the State of Mississippi:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life and legacy of educational, civic and charitable service of Dr. Katharine Rea, of Gulfport, Mississippi, and express to her surviving family the sympathy of the Legislature on her passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Dr. Rea and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.