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Benedict College National Alumni Association


2004 Lula J. Gambrell Award Recipient


Dr. Mary Shelton Washington ´33

Mary Shelton Washington was born June 1, 1910 in Shelton, now Blair, Fairfield County, SC. She is the only child of Abraham and Sallie Stevenson Shelton, born after 27 years of marriage. She married the late Dwright L. Washington, a Benedict College alumnus.

She graduated from Finley High School, in Chester, SC in 1929 as Class Valedictorian. She earned a BA in Education with honors, from Benedict College in 1933; an MA in Education was earned from New York University in 1956, and an Elementary Principal's Certificate from SC State University in 1970. She also had further studies at the University of SC, and New York University. Mrs. Washington taught in the public schools of South Carolina for 40 years, with 33 years in Richland County School District Two.

Dr. Washington is active in community and civic organizations, among them are: active member of Second Calvary Baptist Church for the past 71 years; Richland County Ward 9 Poll Manager; Waverly Neighborhood Improvement and Protection Association, Benedict College Alumni Club #1; Benedict College National Alumni Association; Retired Educators Association; NAACP; Central South Carolina Chapter of the American Red Cross Volunteer; Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Life Member, Charter Member of Beta Epsilon Sigma Chapter for 53 years; Capital Senior Center, Board of Trustees.

She has received numerous awards and honors among them are: The Office of National Service Certificate of Merit for Commitment to Community Service on behalf of President George W. Bush; Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree conferred May 11, 1997 by Benedict College; Second Calvary Baptist Church Willing Helpers Club Service to Mankind Award; Richland School District One Outstanding Service to W.A. Perry Middle School; Teacher of the Year, E.L. Wright Middle School; American Red Cross Exceptional Volunteer Service Award, The Clara Barton Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership; Elizabeth Post Outstanding Volunteer Service Award; Beta Epsilon Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Charter Member 46 years of Meritorious Service; and Capital Senior Center Board of Trustees Certificate of Appreciation for Devoted and Invaluable Services.

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