MACON, Ga. — Three women who made significant contributions to Georgia’s history will be inducted into the Georgia Women of Achievement Hall of Fame on March 9 at Wesleyan College in Macon.
A former Moulrie woman, the late Carolyn McKenzie Carter, is among those three.
The 26th annual Georgia Women of Achievement Induction Ceremony will begin at 10:00 am in Pierce Chapel on the Wesleyan Campus. Immediately after the ceremony a reception will be held in Oval Hall honoring the family and friends of the inductees and all other guests.
The ceremony takes place each year in March in celebration of Women’s History Month. This year, Georgia Women of Achievement will recognize the contributions of Carolyn Mckenzie Carter, the first female photographer for the Atlanta Constitution; Clermont Huger Lee, one
of Georgia’s first female landscape architects; and Lucile Nix, the first library head for the state of Georgia who led significant expansion across the state.
Honorees must have exceptional accomplishments, be a continuous inspiration, and deceased for a minimum of five years.
Ruth Knox, president of Wesleyan College and a Georgia Women of Achievement Trustee, will be the keynote speaker for this year’s Induction Ceremony.
Carolyn Mckenzie Carter, a native of Moultrie, Georgia, was the first female
photographer to work for the Atlanta Constitution. She graduated from the University of Georgia's Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1940 and was hired by legendary editor Ralph McGill to work for the paper soon thereafter.
In a career spanning decades at the Atlanta newspaper and later at Coca-Cola, Carter blazed trails trod by few if any female journalists of her era. She served as staff writer and was the first female photojournalist for the Atlanta Constitution and later went to work at the Journal-Constitution Sunday Magazine where she spent several years taking photographs and writing stories about the South.
During her time with the Constitution she met Don E. Carter, a reporter for the rival Atlanta Journal, while they were both working on the same story. They married in 1942. She later worked on the Atlanta Journal Sunday Magazine.
After her newspaper work, Carter wrote and edited specialized publications at the Coca-Cola Company. In 1959 she and Don moved to New York where she worked as a freelance writer and photographer for the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Travel.
Carter was the first woman to be named a Master of Photography by the Professional Photographers of America, the leading association of commercial photographers in the U.S. She was honored for her work on the Refresher, Coca Cola's employee magazine.
Coke's archives of Carter's work shows a Margaret Bourke-White approach to
commercial and industrial photography. Carter traveled the world for
Coke, photographing operations and employee engagement. Entire issues of the Refresher were given over to her work with Coke and cadets at West Point, folk artists in Asia, Europe's ski country, and so forth.
Carter's work is held in four collections. One is the Hargrett Library and Special Collections at the University of Georgia. Two are at the Atlanta History Center. The fourth is the Archives of the Atlanta Journal Constitution at Georgia State University. All four are indexed, accessible with search tools.
She and her husband later moved to Sea Island in 1982 where they retired and continued to be active in community, professional and travel activities. Carter was an early and active member of the Board of Trustees of Georgia Women of Achievement, and served for years in a wide variety of civic and charitable causes.
In 1986, the Department of Industry, Trade and Travel created the Carolyn Carter Award in her name to honor travel photographers who exhibit a commitment to tourism, a major Georgia industry. In 2012, the Grady College established the Carolyn McKenzie and Don E. Carter Chair for Excellence in Journalism, endowed by a gift from Mr. Carter.
Besides her achievements in photojournalism and corporate visual communication, Carolyn and her husband made significant contributions to the Grady College to educate and inspire future journalists.
In 2004, the couple established the Carolyn McKenzie and Don E. Carter Professorship of Excellence in Journalism, dedicated to perpetuating the values of accuracy, fairness and clarity in journalism, which both Carters exemplified in their professional careers. The first Carter professor and chair was John F. Greenman, former president and publisher of the Columbus-Ledger Enquirer. Greenman perpetuated the Carter legacy by establishing a new course in Credibility: News Media and Public Trust and directing a rigorous program that includes public affairs journalism, coverage of
poverty and a lecture, symposium and medal series honoring courage in journalism.
In 2008, Carolyn and Don Carter were members of the inaugural class inducted into the Grady Fellows, a fellowship of distinguished alumni and prominent communication professionals and faculty whose lives and careers have contributed measurably to the national reputation of the college.
Carolyn Carter passed away in 2010 at the age of 91. In 2014, Don Carter created through gift and bequest the Don E. and Carolyn Mackenzie Carter Endowment for Journalism Excellence, the first endowment of a departmental mission at the Grady College. The Carter Endowment, dedicated to the enduring values of journalism essential to a democratic society, will underwrite classes, symposia on the future of news, distinguished lecturers, internships and faculty and student development.