FLORENCE — The city of Florence hosted the annual ceremony for the 2018 Walk of Honor Inductees last week at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center. The Walk of Honor at beautiful River Heritage Park recognizes individuals from Florence and Lauderdale County who have achieved national or international acclaim. This is to honor and perpetuate the name and achievements of deserving current or former citizens through a form of civic recognition.
Areas of national or international accomplishment include agriculture, art, athletics, business, education, government, humanities, literature, medicine, military, music, public service, religion, and science and technology.
The 2018 Inductees and their achievements are as follows:
Plaque reads: At age 16 in 1982, Maurice Causey won a Ford Foundation Scholarship to the American School of Ballet. He has served as Ballet Master for the Royal Swedish Ballet and the Netherlands Dance Theatre.
Maurice Causey is an American-born, European-based artist. He began studying ballet at the age of 15 in his hometown of Florence at the Florence School of Ballet directed by Michael McCadden and Patsy Hill. During his early training years, Maurice was awarded several Ford Foundation scholarships.
Maurice has been Ballet Master for both the Royal Swedish Ballet (2002-2003) and The Netherlands Dance Theatre (2004-2019). He has choreographed original works for several companies including NDT and was a guest teacher for numerous dance companies in Europe. Maurice has choreographed for galas, schools, and competitions throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, South Korea, and Australia (Khio) and has staged ballets by William Forsythe. He has conducted workshops, teaching Forsythe’s Improvisational Technologies around the world.
DR. JOHN WILKINSON TAYLOR
Plaque reads: As Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, Dr. John W. Taylor pioneered international programs following WWII aimed at ending illiteracy by promoting education within communities. He introduced an early version of distance learning through correspondence courses via radio.
Born in Kentucky in 1906, John W. Taylor held a doctorate in philosophy and taught in leading universities in Europe and the United States. As President of the University of Louisville from 1947 -1949, he helped end racial segregation and pioneered community education programs. In 1950 Dr. Taylor became Deputy Director-General of United Nations Economic Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). He was appointed acting Director-General upon the resignation of Jaime Torres Bodet in 1952.
One of the chief functions of UNESCO was to make studies, reports, and recommendations to the General UN Assembly with respect to international economics, social relations, culture, education, health, and related matters for the purpose of promoting respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. UNESCO was founded in 1945.
Dr. Taylor’s education began at Florence State Teacher’s college. He later studied at Peabody College (Vanderbilt) and Columbia Universities. He also worked with the foreign exchange program at Columbia.
Just after the close of WWII, Dr. Taylor was featured in the Saturday Evening Post for his work in helping to restore education in Germany.”
Plaque reads: Serving as head coach in women’s collegiate basketball, 1970-1996, Lin Dunn became a 17-year coach in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and was inducted into the WNBA Hall of Fame in 2014.
Coach Lin Dunn is well-chronicled as one of the nation’s foremost pioneers of women’s basketball and one of its most prominent coaches and leaders. She has been a proven winner at both the college and pro levels with three hall of fame inductions, 2010, 2012, and in 2014, she was inducted into the National Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Dunn’s coaching career preceded the passing of Title IX legislation in the 1970s. Her storied career includes trips to the NCAA Final Four and the WNBA Finals. A native of Dresden, Tennessee, she spent her early years in Florence, Alabama. She attended Gilbert Elementary School and Appleby Junior High School. She played basketball for Coach Noona Kennard’s independent girls’ team before moving back to Tennessee after the 10th grade.
During her distinguished 44-year coaching career, Coach Dunn had 683 college and pro wins including the WNBA postseason. In her 38 seasons as head coach, she coached 1,156 games. She had 25 years as a collegiate head coach and went on to coach 17 seasons in professional women’s basketball with 13 years as head coach.
In addition, Dunn served on USA Basketball staffs for the 1992 Olympics and the 1990 gold medal-winning World Championship and Goodwill Games teams.
DOUBLEHEAD, CHEROKEE CHIEF
Plaque reads: Through negotiations with President George Washington, Chief Doublehead owned all lands between Bluewater and Cypress Creeks. The lands became federal property after 1807, allowing a corporation to purchase 5,515 acres to establish Florence.
Doublehead (1744-1807), or Incalatanga (Tal-tsu’tsa in Cherokee), was one of the most feared warriors of the Cherokee during the Cherokee-American wars. Doublehead was among a delegation of Cherokees who visited U.S. President George Washington in Philadelphia in 1791. After the peace treaty at the Tellico Blockhouse in 1794, Doublehead served as one of the leaders of the Chickamauga Cherokee or “Lower Cherokee”. Upon the death of his nephew, Principal Chief John Watts, in 1802, Doublehead was chosen as a leader of the Chickamauga.
In addition to being one of the leaders of the Lower Towns, Doublehead was elected first Speaker of the Cherokee National Council when the Cherokee formed their first nascent national government in 1794. He became one of the foremost advocates of acculturation and one of the richest men in the Cherokee Nation.
Doublehead owned several tracts of land given to him for signing treaties with the US Government, the largest being the Doublehead Reserve, which he received in 1806. The Reserve contains most of what is now Florence and stretched from Elk River in the east to Cypress Creek in the west.
After receiving nominations from the public, the Walk of Honor Selection Committee chose the four inductees to join the forty-two individuals selected from previous years. A bronze plaque with a picture of each inductee, along with a brief inscription of their accomplishments, has been placed on the Walk of Honor monuments in the park. The public is invited to visit the site. More detailed information on these individuals is available in the Local History and Genealogy Department at the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library.