2019 Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award: Ann Abadie
Our Lifetime Achievement Award goes to a person who has made an indelible mark on our culture and has set regional standards and catalyzed national dialogues. In recognition, SFA commissions a portrait by Oxford, Mississippi, artist Blair Hobbs, produces a documentary film, and toasts their legacy at the SFA Fall Symposium.
Born in Greenville, South Carolina, Ann Abadie received her bachelor’s degree in English and History from Wake Forest University. She earned her doctorate in English from the University of Mississippi, where she later served on the committee that planned the Center for the Study of Southern Culture (CSSC).
Since the founding of the CSSC in 1977, she has served crucial roles, including associate director of the CSSC and associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture and the Mississippi Encyclopedia. She edited various book series for the Center, inspired by academic conferences and other Center activities. For much of the history of the Center, she served as lead grant writer and project manager.
When 50 founders gathered to establish the SFA in 1999, Abadie dedicated startup funds to the effort. For the first decade of SFA work, Abadie served on the board of directors. Retired from the University of Mississippi, she lives in Oxford with her husband, Dale Abadie.