Tereze Harris, a member of St. Mary Church in McGehee, was honored with the Daniel Rudd Award from the Diocesan Council for Black Catholics during the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Mass Jan. 19 at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Little Rock. Harris, 84, was not able to attend but her niece Deena Robinson accepted the award in her name.
Born Frankye Harris, she was raised Baptist and converted to Catholicism and later joined St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith. She was the only black member in the convent at that time. She worked as a teacher at St. Boniface School in Fort Smith as well as in the Delta. She left the religious order in 1984, but remained active in her faith.
She launched the Tereze Harris Scholarship Foundation in 1985, followed in 1998 by the Andrew Gregory Memorial Scholarship Foundation. The two foundations have awarded more than 160 scholarships to graduating seniors in Desha and Chicot counties who demonstrate excellence in math.
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