Society History

Founding, Officers, By-laws

Founding:
In The beginning, to determine the scope of interest, an announcement of intent to form a Eudora Welty Society (EWS) was circulated at “Eudora Welty: The Eye of the Story,” a conference organized by Professor Dawn Trouard and held Sept. 17-19, 1987, in Akron, OH. Carey Wall, Susan Donaldson, and Trouard formed the initial coordinating committee.

The American Literature Association (ALA) was established in 1990 to operate largely through single-author societies, such as the rapidly growing Eudora Welty Society. The EWS boasted fifty members at the time of its first organizational meeting, held during the Modern Language Association (MLA) annual conference, Dec. 28, 1991, at New Joe’s on Geary St., in San Francisco. Hosts were Wall and Donaldson; others in attendance were Carol Manning, Rebecca Mark, Peggy Prenshaw, and Louise Westling.

In 1992, the EWS held its annual business meeting at the ALA conference in San Diego. The society now holds its annual meeting at the ALA every spring.

The EWS also regularly sponsors panels at conferences such as the ALA, the MLA, the Society for the Study of Southern Literature (SSSL) and the regional MLA conference: South Central Modern Language Association (SCMLA) and South Atlantic Modern Language Association.

Officers:
Current
President: Julia Eichelberger
Vice-President: Harriet Pollack
Secretary-Treasurer: Adrienne Akins
Website Editor: Sarah Ford

2014 – 2016
President: Sarah Ford
Vice-President: Julia Eichelberger
Secretary-Treasurer: Michael Kreyling
Website Editor: Sarah Ford

2012 – 2014
President: David McWhirter
Vice-President: Sarah Ford
Secretary-Treasurer: Michael Kreyling
Website Editor: Sarah Ford

2010 – 2012
President: Mae Claxton
Vice-President: David McWhirter
Secretary-Treasurer: Michael Kreyling
Website Editor: Carol Ann Johnston

2008 – 2010
President: Pearl McHaney
Vice-President: Mae Claxton
Secretary-Treasurer: Michael Kreyling
Website Editor: Carol Ann Johnston

2006 – 2008
President: Barbara Ladd
Vice-President: Pearl McHaney
Secretary: Sarah Ford
Treasurer: Dawn Trouard

2004 – 2006
President: Rebecca Mark
Vice-President: Barbara Ladd
Secretary: Mae Miller Claxton
Treasurer: Dawn Trouard

2002 – 2004
President: Ruth D. Weston
Vice-President: Rebecca Mark
Secretary: Mae Miller Claxton
Treasurer: Dawn Trouard

2000 – 2002
President: Suzan Harrison
Vice-President: Ruth D. Weston
Secretary: Carey Wall
Treasurer: Dawn Trouard

1998 – 2000
President: Suzanne Marrs
Vice-President: Suzan Harrison
Secretary: Carey Wall
Treasurer: Dawn Trouard

1996 – 1998
President: Harriet Pollack
Vice-President: Suzanne Marrs
Secretary: Carey Wall
Treasurer: Dawn Trouard

1994 – 1996
President: Susan V. Donaldson
Vice-President: Harriet Pollack
Secretary: Carey Wall
Treasurer: Dawn Trouard

1992 – 1994
President: Peggy W. Prenshaw
Vice-President: Susan V. Donaldson
Secretary: Carey Wall
Treasurer: Dawn Trouard

BY-LAWS OF THE EUDORA WELTY SOCIETY
(revised May 29, 2010)

Article 1. Name:

The name of the Society shall be The Eudora Welty Society

Article II. Purpose:

The purpose of the Society shall be to assist and coordinate Eudora Welty studies through (a) the organization of the Society’s general meetings and other special conferences and (b) the support of similar activities approved by the Society.

Article III. Membership:

A. The Society shall be composed of
1. The Officers: the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary-Treasurer, and the Website Editor.
2. Honorary Members: Any person who, in the opinion of the Executive Board, merits Membership for outstanding service to Eudora Welty studies or for any other reason, may be
nominated by the Board and elected as an Honorary Member and may participate in all activities of the Society.
3. Member: Any person who subscribes to the Society’s by-laws and pays annual dues shall be a Member.
4. Student Member: Any student enrolled in an accredited college or university who subscribes to the by-laws and pays annual dues shall be a Student Member.
B. Privileges: All Members shall be entitled to:
1. Attend and vote at the Society’s business meetings held annually at the American Literature Association and hold office in the Society.
2. Receive news of the Society as authorized by the Executive Board and Society publications.

Article IV. Organization:

A. The Executive Board: the President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary-Treasurer—all elected by the members. The Website Editor shall be chosen by the Executive Board. The elected President shall serve for two years, to be succeeded by the Vice-President. The President will serve from January 1 of an even year until December 31 of the following odd year. The term of office for the Secretary-Treasurer will also be two years.
B. Nominations and self-nominations for Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer are due to the President of the Society by January of odd years. Election will be by simple majority vote at the American Literature Association. The new Vice-President’s term begins January 1, even years.
B. Nominations and self-nominations for Vice-President and Secretary-Treasurer are due to the President of the Society by January 30 of odd-numbered years. A Nominating Committee, to consist of the Past President (Chair), Vice-President, and one additional member to be appointed by the President, shall, in consultation with members of the Advisory Board, solicit and consider nominations, and select one or more candidates to stand for each office. Election will be by simple majority vote of participating dues-paying members; the Secretary-Treasurer will conduct the election by mail ballot or on-line, with voting to begin March 1 and close April 1 of odd-numbered years. Officers’ terms begin January 1 of even-numbered years.

C. Advisory Board: The Advisory Board consists of former officers and others to be named as needed in order to help provide direction for the organization through consultation on all matters pertaining to The Eudora Welty Society including nomination of candidates for Vice President, and Secretary-Treasurer, special projects, committee appointments, etc.
D. Duties of the Officers:
1. The President
a. General: The President is responsible for keeping the Eudora Welty Society in good working order and publicizing the work of the Society. The President sets the agenda for business meetings, leads the meetings, and provides general oversight to ensure that business is handled efficiently and well. The President shall consult with other officers and the Advisory Board on important matters. The President shall also assist the Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer, and Website Editor as needed. In the event of emergencies, the President steps in to make sure that the work of the Eudora Welty Society continues efficiently. The President, with the approval of the Advisory Committee, has the authority to delegate certain responsibilities of the office where necessary for efficiency.
b. Listserv: The President shall be the gatekeeper of the listserv. In other words, members shall submit material to the listserv via the President. The President will send appropriate communications to the listserv. “Appropriate” communications include minutes, queries, announcements, calls for papers, ideas, updates on special projects, reports, and significant news from the membership. The President is responsible for keeping the names and addresses on the listserv current and to solve any problems connected with the listserv.
c. Website: The President shall be the Eudora Welty Society’s liaison with the Website Editor to cause to be posted all necessary information about the Society and its activities on the website. When the Vice-President sends minutes and other information to the President, the President shall review these materials and send corrected copy to the Website Editor for posting on the website following distribution of information referenced in IV.1.b. via the listserv. The President shall indicate to the Website Editor or his/her designated assistant where (on what page or section of the website) the material should appear and also indicate when the material should be moved to archives. The President is responsible for overseeing website content and should alert the Website Editor of any problems (delays in postings, delays in removing items, problems in archiving). Together the President and the Website Editor shall keep information on the website current, with the Website Editor’s responsibilities limited to technical matters of posting, etc.
2. The Vice-President:
a. Operations: The Vice-President of the organization is charged with record keeping. These duties include taking minutes (or delegating an Acting Secretary to do so) at the business meetings; collecting, helping to create, and organizing other records (working papers for example); collecting and helping session chairs prepare calls for papers in a timely manner; working with chairs of sessions to fill panels as necessary; and acting as liaison with the conference/convention venues to make sure that proposals are submitted correctly and on time. The Vice-President, with the approval of the Advisory Board, has the authority to delegate, when necessary for efficiency, certain responsibilities of the office.
b. Distribution: The Vice-President shall help to edit calls for papers, minutes, and any other written material before sending such material to the President for final proofing, corrections, and distribution.
3. The Secretary-Treasurer:
a. Maintain and manage the financial accounts of the Society, including the Society’s checking account.
b. Collect membership dues and maintain an updated roster of members in good standing.
c. Present a budgetary report to the Society annually at the American Literature Association.
d. Make all legal filings with the appropriate state and federal agencies
e. Prepare the Phoenix Award for presentation.
f. Assist in correspondence, minutes, and communications as requested by the President, Vice-President, or Website Editor.
g. Submit financial reports and membership lists at the request of the President.
4. Website Editor:
Maintain website.

Article V: Publications, Communications, and Awards

A. Pieces of News: Formerly the name of the newsletter of the Eudora Welty Society, this is now the title of the President’s/Eudora Welty Society’s communications with the membership via listserv and website. “Pieces of News” remains the venue for publicizing calls for papers and other news of the Society. “Pieces of News” shall also be the title of the column on the Welty Society website where relevant items from news previously circulated via listserv shall be posted for a reasonable amount of time following listserv distribution.
B. As the need arises, the Executive Board of the Eudora Welty Society may create and circulate a lengthier “newsletter” or “bulletin” form of Pieces of News—to announce special bequests, to report on major projects, etc. These special issues may be guest-edited as necessary.
C. Phoenix Award
1. Awarded at least once every two years for significant contributions to Welty Scholarship.
2. Recipients will be selected by a Nominating Committee comprised of past Phoenix Awardees. The President of the Society will serve ex officio on the Nominating Committee and will initiate the discussions for nominations and selections. Nominations may be made to the President by any member of the Society.
D. Other Awards may be initiated by members of the Society through nominations to the President and then pursued by the advisory board.

Article VI: Use of Funds:

Funds belonging to the Society shall be used only to support the charitable and educational purposes which define it. No part of the net earnings of the organization shall benefit any member, office, or member of the Advisory Board of the Society. The group may pay reasonable compensation for services rendered, and it may freely spend its resources to further the tax-exempt purposes listed above.

Article VII: Amendments to the By-Laws:

Amendments to the by-laws adopted by the society shall be made upon the recommendation of the Advisory Board and adopted by a two-thirds vote of the members voting in a ballot to be conducted by mail or on-line.

Article VIII: Dissolution of the Society:

Any assets of the Eudora Welty Society shall, at the time of the group’s dissolution, be used to discharge any and all outstanding debts. Assets left over shall then become the property of non-profit, Welty-centered organizations which are similarly tax-exempt and which are approved by the Advisory Board.