COVINGTON, Ga. — Emily Susanne Eady Herrington, formerly of Oxford and a graduate of Newton County High School, has been posthumously named a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary International Foundation.
Any individual who has made a significant contribution to Rotary International may be named a Paul Harris Fellow, an honor awarded by the Rotary Foundation.
Herrington was recently recognized for her contributions to the Rotary Club of Camden County and her early local leadership in achieving gender equity within Rotary. Her efforts opened Rotary membership to women long before it became a popular idea—this single accomplishment required personal courage and extraordinary determination. Herrington, at the time a resident of St. Marys, was one of four professional women to become a Camden County Rotarian in July 1987, placing her and the three others among the first women globally to become members of the largest civic group in the world.
In a statement, Glenn Smith of Canton, Georgia, Past Governor of District 6920 (Georgia, USA) said: “This posthumous recognition is long overdue. In my mind, Emily Herrington and her three Camden County, Georgia, women Rotarians stand apart in the history of Rotary. Acting in the face of serious male resistance, they opened a door previously closed to women so that now more than 200,000+ women claim membership in Rotary.
Collectively, Herrington and her colleagues bravely started a movement that has enormously benefitted Rotary, literally changed the civic club world, and has culminated in Rotary International’s first female president being able to take office in 2022.”
Herrington, who passed away April 2, 2021, was the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Virgil Y.C. Eady of Oxford, and the sister-in-law of Mrs. Louise Eady, wife of the late Virgil Y.C. Eady, Jr., also of Oxford. She and her husband Bruce, who now resides in Douglasville, were married for more than 60 years.
She graduated from LaGrange College and earned a Master of Public Administration from Valdosta State University.
After serving in the U.S. Civil Service in a number of highly consequential positions in Europe and the U.S., she served for more than 20 years as an adjunct professor with Mercer University where she taught courses in college writing and critical thinking, and presented workshops in principles of self-renewal. Most of her work in the college classroom was done as a teaching partner with her husband. Their students considered Emily to be the essential partner in their teaching team. This award will be presented to Herrington’s family by Rotary International Past District Governor Glenn Smith in Douglasville.