Miss Annie Mae McClain Scholarship
In 2007 Women in Focus, Inc. awarded the first Miss Annie Mae McClain Scholarship, funded with the proceeds of an auction of 77 wonderful hats owned by Miss Annie Mae McClain during her lifetime. The hats were generously donated to WIF by Miss Annie Mae’s son Joe McClain and his wife, former WIF member Carol Lobes. Both Joe and Carol felt that Miss Annie Mae would want her beloved hats to contribute to the higher education of young people of color.
Prior to the auction, the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters worked with the Overture Gallery staff to beautifully display the 77 hats at the Overture Center and show the fascinating history of church hats. The exhibit appeared first in Madison and then traveled to Milwaukee in 2006. Two hats were donated by WIF to the Wisconsin State Historical Society; one hat was purchased at the WIF auction by the Wisconsin Historical Society. Two additional hats were purchased by the Milwaukee Historical Society at the auction. The front page Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters magazine article and museum post card about Miss Annie Mae’s hats will be included in the Time Capsule marking Madison’s 150th anniversary.
A Miss Annie Mae scholarship has been awarded each year since 2008 to a deserving returning student.