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Mary Alice Hunt

Mary Alice Hunt Mary Alice Hunt, retired Professor Emeritus at Florida State University, passed away at her home on Saturday, December 19, 2009. She was born in Lima, Ohio on April 14, 1928. Mary Alice graduated from Ocala High School in 1946 and enrolled at Florida State University. While studying for her degree in journalism she worked as a student assistant in that department. From 1951-1952 she was employed by the Tallahassee Democrat and interviewed Dr. Louis Shores who was the Dean of the School of Library Science at FSU at that time. He convinced Mary Alice to earn her Master's Degree and awarded her a graduate assistantship. In 1954 she became an assistant to Dr. Shores, then served as librarian for the Florida State University School (Florida High), became an instructor then assistant professor of library science. In the early ‘70's she took a leave of absence to earn her PhD at Indiana University after which she returned to teaching at FSU. During her career she served the American Library Association (ALA) in many significant areas: member of the Newbery-Caldecott Committee, chair of the Newberry-Caldecott Committee, board member of the Association of Library Service to Children (a division of ALA), and was elected as an ALA Council member several times. Mary Alice was a founding member of the Gamma Chapter of Beta Phi Mu, the international library and information science honor society. She served as president of this organization and in 2005 was named outstanding member. In 1995 Dr. Hunt retired as Professor Emeritus from the School of Library and Information Studies and a room in the school was named for her. After retirement she worked for two years researching and writing a history of the School of Library Science at FSU. She established the Mary Alice Hunt Endowed Scholarship. She was a member of Faith Presbyterian Church. She remained quite active until shortly before her death attending conferences, Retired Faculty Club functions and taking two art classes a week at the Senior Center. Mary Alice entered her paintings and pastels in numerous art shows and won many ribbons for them. She loved reading and often gave gifts of books or magazines to friends and family. An avid FSU fan, she held football season tickets until her death. When she was unable to attend the games herself, she made sure someone used her tickets and would ask for a report following each game. Mary Alice was a generous friend, teacher, sister and aunt and was much loved by her family, students, friends and co-workers. She was preceded in death by her parents, Blair and Della Grace Henry (Gracie) Hunt, and her brother and sister-in-law Paul and Mary Nell Camp Hunt. She is survived by five nieces and nephews: Kathy Hunt Alford (Jimmy), Sally Hunt Wood (Tom), and Tim Hunt (Emily) all of Tallahassee, Marshall Hunt (Martha) of Atlanta, Georgia, and Teal Hunt Mitchell (Dan) of Thomasville, Georgia, 19 grand nieces and nephews and 5 great grand nieces and nephews, and her beloved dog and constant companion, Choo-Choo. Service plans will be announced after the holidays. Memorial contributions may be made to the Mary Alice Hunt Endowed Scholarship Fund, Florida State University Foundation, 2010 Levy Ave., P.O. Box 3062739, Tallahassee, FL 32306-2739. You may view an interview colleague Tom Hart did with Mary Alice in April, 2008 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDT9cARk-fA .

Published in Tallahassee Democrat on Dec. 22, 2009
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