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ASU's Dr. Nancy Hendricks wins 2010 Susie Pryor Award for Arkansas history

April 8, 2010 -- Dr. Nancy Hendricks, director of Alumni Communications at Arkansas State University–Jonesboro, has won the 2010 SusieDr. Nancy Hendricks Pryor Award for Arkansas Women’s History. The prestigious award is named in honor of the late Susan Hampton Pryor (1900-1984) of Camden, the first woman to run for political office in Arkansas after women won the vote, community leader, historian, and writer. Dr. Hendricks wrote this year's winning entry, “A Friend in Deed: The Private Correspondence of Sen. Hattie Caraway in the V. C. Kays Archives.” Hattie Caraway of Jonesboro was the first woman elected to the United States Senate, holding office from 1932 through 1945. The papers of the late V. C. Kays, founding president of what is today Arkansas State University, are housed at ASU-Jonesboro.

In her manuscript, Hendricks contended that while often seen as ineffectual, Sen. Caraway, who died in 1950, worked tirelessly and effectively for her constituents. Her actions affected thousands of people as well as institutions such as Arkansas State University. Caraway helped obtain federal funds during the Depression for the construction of nine buildings on the ASU campus, four of which are still used today. Hendricks was quoted for her expertise on Caraway in the March 29 edition of Arkansas Business, and hopes ultimately to publish her research on the Caraway letters.

Hendricks holds a doctorate in education from the University of Arkansas and a master’s degree in English from Arkansas State University. She is an award-winning writer whose play, “Miz Caraway and the Kingfish,” tells the story of Caraway's campaign with Huey Long to become America's first woman Senator. Its New Orleans production was held over for an extended run and nominated by the American Critics Association for "Best Play Produced Outside New York."  She also performs a one-person program, “Hattie to Hillary: Women in Politics.” Her most recent play is “Boy Hero: The Story of David O. Dodd,” and her screenplay, “Terrible Swift Sword,” about the Sultana disaster, is being perused in Hollywood. She was the recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Award and the White House Millennium Award for her writing.

Susan Hampton
Pryor's grandson is Mark Pryor, current U.S. senator from Arkansas. Mrs. Pryor was the mother of Arkansas governor and U.S. Sen. David Pryor, who will present Hendricks with the award at the Arkansas Historical Association banquet in Jonesboro on Friday, April 16.

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