SELA Honorary Membership

The SELA Honorary Membership Committee is accepting nominations for honorary membership in the Southeastern Library Association. This designation is conferred upon living individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Association or to library development in the Southeast.

In March 1987, the SELA Board voted to make recipients of the Mary Utopia Rothrock Award recipients of honorary membership. In the Honorary Members List below, an asterisk denotes the Mary Utopia Rothrock Award recipients.



  1. Honorary membership should be conferred for significant contributions to librarianship in the Southeast. The honor:
    1. May recognize persons elected to leadership positions in the Association
    2. May recognize persons who have made other contributions to librarianship in the region.
    3. Should be based upon regional rather than state or local contributions to the profession.
  2. The designation should recognize the contribution of an individual per se, rather than an individual representing the accomplishments of many.
  3. The person should be of such caliber as to reflect honor upon SELA by this designation.
  4. Honorary membership should be conferred as a result of a contribution of more than passing importance and local or limited achievement. It should not be conferred because of momentary enthusiasm.
  5. The person may be a librarian or a person in a related field.
  6. Only a living person should be considered for honorary membership.
  7. No more than five honorary memberships should be awarded in any biennium.
  8. Membership entitles the recipient to a life membership in the Association, with no further payment of dues.
  9. Should no qualified individual be nominated or approved by the committee no award will be made.
  10. The person making the nomination must be a member of SELA, but the nominee need not be.

Submit nominations along with any supporting biographical material to:

Camille McCutcheon
Honorary Membership Chair


Honorary Members List

1954 Louis Round Wilson
1972 Susan Grey Akers, Tommie Dora Barker, Clara Mae Brown, Nancy Jane Day, Hoyt R. Galvin, Helen Margaret Harris, Margie Helm, Isabel Howell, Margaret Malone Jemison, Sarah Lewis Jones, Augustus Frederick Kuhlman, Virginia McJenkin, Laura Katherine Martin, Anna M. Roberts, Mary Utopia Rothrock, Louis Shores, Mary Lindsay Thornton, Azile M. Wofford
1974 Randolph W. Church, Dorothy W. Crosland, W. Porter Kellam, Guy R. Lyle, Martha Parks
1976 Elizabeth Parks Beamguard, Frances Neel Cheney, Jack Dalton, Robert B. Downs, W. Stanley Hoole, Ray O. Hummel, Jr., Benjamin Edward Powell
1978 J. Isaac Copeland, Miss Roy Land
1980 Julia Bennett Armistead, Archie L. McNeal, Lawrence S. Thompson
1982 Mary Edna Anders, John H. Gribbin
1984 Shirley A. Brother, Ann Page Bugg, Ann Wimbish Cobb, Edward Graham Roberts, Virginia Lacy Jones
1986 Lester Asheim, Ruth W. Waldrop, Margaret B. Kerr, Minnie Lou Lynch
1988 Rebecca T. Bingham, Cora Paul Bomar, David E. Estes*, A. Venable Lawson, Helen D. Lockhart, Kenneth E. Toombs, Martha Jane Zachert
1990 Frank P. Grisham*, J.B. Howell, John David Marshall, Paul H. Spence
1992 Edward G. Holley*, Mary Louise Rheay, Arthur Ray Rowland
1994 Wanda J. Calhoun, John David Marshall*, Gary R. Purcell, George R. Stewart, James E. Ward,
1996 Ralph Russell*
1998 Linda Gill, Cecil Beach*
2000 Mary Louise Rheay*
2002 Mary Glenn Hearne, Samuel F. Morrison*
2004 Charles Edward Beard*
2006 Ann H. Hamilton*
2008 Kathleen Imhoff*
2010 None Awarded
2012 None Awarded
2014 Dr. Gordon Baker*
2016 Evelyn Merk, Hal Mendelsohn
2018 None Awarded
2020 Judith Gibbons*