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Concept through Completion, The Tennessee Suffrage Monument with Founder, A...

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The Parthenon

2500 West End Avenue

Nashville, TN 37203

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Join AAUW for Women’s History Month at the Parthenon in Nashville, TN to kickoff the Parthenon’s focus on the suffrage anniversary from 6 - 7 pm and then hear from our speaker, Alma Sanford, founder of the TN Suffrage Monument, as she tells us how the statue came to fruition. Hosted by AAUW Nashville, the Parthenon and the Centennial Park Conservancy.

ABOUT THE SUFFRAGE MONUMENT IN NASHVILLE:

Alan LeQuire’s sculpture at Centennial Park includes five women who were involved in Tennessee’s ratification of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. The figures are Anne Dallas Dudley of Nashville (front right), Frankie Pierce of Nashville (back left), Carrie Chapman Catt (national suffrage leader who came to Tennessee for the final battle – front left), Sue Shelton White of Jackson (back center), and Abby Crawford Milton of Chattanooga (back right).

ABOUT ALMA SANFORD:

Alma Sanford dates her family back to her fourth great-grandparents Ephraim and Elizabeth Davidson McLean, who were at Fort Nashborough in 1783, where Ephraim served as a surveyor for Nashville's founder, James Robertson. McLean earlier fought at the Battle at Kings Mountain and as a North Carolina state representative, was a signer of the document creating Davidson County, TN, among many other accomplishments. His wife Elizabeth Davidson, was a first cousin of General William Lee Davidson, who was killed in the Revolutionary War and they requested the new Tennessee County be named in his honor.

Alma was born in Logan County, Kentucky where six generations of her family had lived, many having arrived before the Revolutionary War. Her family later moved to Christian County, KY where she lived until adulthood.

She moved to Kansas because of her husband's job and held two Gubernatorial appointments while there, including the Wichita State University Board. She practiced law in Wichita and received a national humanitarian award for her pro bono legal work with financially disadvantaged senior citizens. She also successfully lobbied for a law requiring special educational opportunities for intellectually gifted children.

Alma closed her law practice in Kansas and after a short time in Western Kentucky, moved to Falls Church, VA where she was selected by President Clinton to serve on the planning committee for the Fiftieth Anniversary of NATO. She returned to Nashville in 2001, and has served on many boards and commissions including two mayoral appointments. She served six years on the Regional Solid Waste Board and is currently in her fourth year serving on the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals. After working as a poll watcher with the League of Women Voters, she worked with others to lobby for three years at the state legislature to pass a Voter Verified Paper Ballot bill which was signed into law by the Governor of Tennessee in 2008; however, it was rescinded with the change of administrations.

She helped gather 1,800 signatures to lobby the State Board of Regents to locate the Nashville State Community College South Campus in Antioch and personally delivered them to the Board of Regents at their meeting where they voted to award money for NSCC's satellite campus. She continues to work with many local community groups.

Alma is the founder of a non-profit organization, Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument, Inc. that raised over $700,000 in private money, to build a monument to commemorate the work of Tennessee suffragists who helped gain Tennessee's ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. The monument featuring five women and created by Sculptor Alan LeQuire, was unveiled in August 2016, in Nashville's Centennial Park. The Tennessee State DAR awarded a historic preservation award to each of the nine board members at its meeting in Franklin in April 2017. The Tennessee Women's Political Collaborative honored the Board Members at an October 2019 meeting in downtown Nashville. The Mayor of Nashville presented a certificate to the Board thanking each one for gifting the monument to the City of Nashville in August 2019. The Metro Council passed a Resolution in December 2019, acknowledging the tremendous gift to the City.

She is a historical and genealogist hobbyist. Alma was a co-planner of the International Ewing Family Association Gathering in Nashville in August, with family members gathering from 20 states and Great Britain and secured Fletch Coke to lead a tour of the Nashville City Cemetery. The members also visited Fort Nashborough and many other local historical sites. She and her daughter worked to honor her third great grandfather General Robert Ewing, who is also a Patriot recognized by the DAR and SAR. General Ewing was also a surveyor in Nashville near its founding in the 1780s.

Alma holds a Political Science Degree from Wichita State University and a law degree from the University of Kansas. She practiced law in Wichita, Kansas with an emphasis in probate and estates. She is a member of the General William Lee Davidson chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, via her Patriot ancestor Ephraim McLean.

She is the mother of two grown children who live in Nashville. She resides on Percy Priest Lake in South Davidson County.

ABOUT TICKETS: Reserving a spot/attending this talk is FREE. However, if you reserve a spot, please make every effort to attend this amazing program. Spots will go fast and we have space limititations - if you reserve a ticket and don't show up, you may be preventing someone else from enjoying this wonderful program. (We recognize plans change and emergencies happen!)

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The Parthenon

2500 West End Avenue

Nashville, TN 37203

View Map

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