HICKS, Cora (Eiland)
Cora Eiland Hicks, 94, passed peacefully on December 5th 2013. Mrs. Hicks died at A Serene Setting, an assisted living facility in Round Rock, Texas, but lived in her home until June 2013. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee on October 31st 1919 and was the daughter of Cora Mae and John Henry Eiland.
Mrs. Hicks received her BA at Lemoyne University summa cum laude and her MA from Howard University magna cum laude. She subsequently worked as a news anaylist at the Pentagon through the end of the second world war. She came to Austin from Washington D.C. in 1949 to accept a teaching position at Tillotson College. Mrs. Hicks was subsequently employed at the University of Texas
Press as an editor and proof reader. While working at the U.T. Press, Mrs. Hicks enrolled in the U.T. English department Doctoral progam where she was also employed as a teaching assistant. Because of these employments at the University of Texas, Mrs. Hicks was recognized as an historical personnage as the first African-American to have been employed in both a professional and a teaching capacity at the University of Texas. Upon completion of her doctoral work at U.T., she was recognized as the first African-American woman to receive a doctoral degree from the University of Texas. Though she herself was recognized for singular achievements in segregation issues, her perspective in the fight for equal rights was that of an idealogue who railed against the notion that individual merit could be ignored and disenfranchised because of ethnicity.
Cora Eiland Hicks is preceded in death by her father, John Henry Eiland, her mother Cora Mae Eiland, her eldest brother, Ernest T. Eiland and her older brother John H. Eiland. She is survived by her husband Lee Hicks, her first son, Gregory Alan Hicks, his son Sam, his wife, Klara Shields-Hicks and their children Henry Hicks and Lee Hicks; her second son, Eric Michael Hicks and his wife Irina Chernysheva-Hicks, her brother, Arthur Eiland, his wife Ann Eiland and their children, her sister-in law Mary Pett-Eiland, and her neice Jan Eiland.
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