By Ambre Adams
October 13, 2023
In a heartwarming ceremony hosted by the University of Alabama School of Social Work, 2023 Alabama Social Work Hall of Fame inductees Audrey Ellis and Beatrice Johnson were celebrated for their remarkable contributions to the field. Angela McClintock, President of the Social Work Society board, welcomed honorable guests, family, and colleagues to the event at the Cypress Inn Pavilion. McClintock acknowledged the remarkable journey of the 63 inductees who have shaped Alabama’s social work landscape since the Hall of Fame’s inception in 1994.
Dr. Samory Pruitt, Vice President for Community Affairs at The University of Alabama, led a heartfelt prayer, expressing gratitude for the work of Audrey Ellis and Beatrice Johnson, whose unwavering dedication had transformed lives. Their legacy, he emphasized, would continue to inspire generations, reminding all of the power of empathy and service.
Following a delightful luncheon, Dean Schnavia Smith Hatcher outlined the six essential Hall of Fame induction criteria and recognized this year’s inductees. Audrey Ellis, a pioneering force in social work education, was the first to be honored. Her advocacy within Tuscaloosa City Schools, breaking barriers and ensuring social workers’ vital role, earned her the accolade. With a legacy spanning decades, she stood tall as an advocate for social justice, leaving an everlasting mark on her community.
Beatrice Johnson, a compassionate psychiatric social worker, was recognized for her 46 years of service at Bryce Hospital. Her dedication to patients’ well-being and her mentorship showcased the epitome of professionalism. Colleagues and patients alike revered her, a testament to her unwavering commitment.
Dean Hatcher expressed profound gratitude to the inductees, their families, and all attendees. Their stories, she remarked, were not just narratives of personal achievement but beacons guiding future social workers. The event concluded with an invitation to visit Little Hall at The University of Alabama, where the inspiring plaques of Audrey Ellis and Beatrice Johnson stand proudly with other Social Work Hall of Fame inductees.
In the heart of Alabama, these remarkable individuals have etched their names into social work history, reminding us of the boundless impact one dedicated soul can make.