Freddie Groomes McClendon: Elegance and distinguished service
By Dorothy Inman-Johnson
Special to the Outlook
Dr. Freddie Groomes McClendon is a native of Jacksonville, but has been a resident of Tallahassee most of her adult life. After receiving her B.S. degree in Home Economics, a M.S. in Counseling and Guidance from Florida A &M University, and a PH.D in Counseling Psychology from Florida State University, she began a distinguished career in education as a teacher and administrator. During her career, she was in demand as an international lecturer and consultant requiring travel to Yugoslavia, South Korea, Russia, Peru, Tokyo, Japan, Italy, and England. She retired from her position as Executive Assistant to the President of Florida State University in 2003, after 40 years of professional service.
Freddie’s record of international, national, state, and local service is outstanding. At the international level, she represented the U.S. at the IV International Conference on Science and Society in Yugoslavia and visited Nigeria as a Rockefeller Fellow to analyze higher education administrative styles. As chairman of the Florida Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women was a delegate to the International Women’s Conference in Kenya. Her national service includes member of the U.S. Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service, national advisor for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Leadership Fellows Program, and President of the American Association for Affirmative Action.
Her state and local service includes the Florida Judicial Council, Board of Directors for Prison Rehabilitation and Diversified Enterprises, Inc., the Florida Constitution Revision Commission, the Board of Trustees for Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, the Big Bend Girl Scout Council Board, and chairman of the Tallahassee Urban League Board of Directors. Her hard work and commitment to improving the quality of life for others has earned much well-deserved recognition. Among them are induction into the Florida A & M University Premier Gallery of Distinction, honorary citizenship and keys to the city of Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Jacksonville, and a 1996 proclamation from the Tallahassee Mayor proclaiming November 18, 1996 Freddie Groomes Day in recognition of her many contributions to the community. Other honors include selection as a 1991 NAACP Black Achiever, recipient of the 1992 Florida A & M University Martin Luther King Jr.
Distinguished Service Award, the Florida State University M.L. King Jr. Distinguished Service Award, and a 2007 Tallahassee Community College “Women Moving History Forward” Award. She was recently honored by FAMU as a Distinguished Alumnus in Education and was featured in the Tallahassee Magazine as an Anniversary Honoree.
And though her professional and wide ranging service record would leave most people’s heads spinning, she also found the time and energy for high level leadership roles in her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated. She served as the Supreme Grammeteus, Chairman of the AKA Connection, Chairman of the National Program Committee, and the International Board of Directors as the Centennial International Parliamentarian. For that service, she was rewarded with the AKA National Founders Award for Distinguished Service, the highest honor for graduate members.
Finally, Freddie is an author of books that include The Marginal Difference and How Professional Women Experience Retirement; and a member of Bethel AME Church where she serves on the Board of Stewards. She was married to the late Dennis McClendon Sr., and is the mother of two children_ Linda Groomes Walton and the late Derek RaMone Groomes.
With such an outstanding record of professional and community service, there should be no surprise that she is being recognized as the Capital Outlook Newspaper’s Person of the Week
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