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16 August 2007

Remembering and Celebrating

the Life of Mrs. C.W. Daugette, Jr.:

Grand Lady of the Daugette-Forney Legacies

of Jacksonville State University


Mrs. C.W. "Florence" Daugette, Jr.

Jacksonville State University pays tribute to the legacy of Mrs. C.W. Daugette, Jr., which is inextricably woven in the Daugette-Forney family legacies linked to the University from its inception—a legacy which spans from the University’s early days as Jacksonville State Normal School and progression to Jacksonville State Teachers College and emergence as a University, a distinction it holds today.


Florence Earle Throckmorton Daugette was born in Birmingham, Alabama (1920), the daughter of a pioneer Birmingham family and died Thursday, August 2, 2007 at the age of 87.  Through her marriage to COL C.W. Daugette, Jr., Florence Daugette, together with her husband, became full-fledged members of the Daugette/Forney legacies through their spirit and deeds.  It seemed to be a natural progression for the couple to become advocates of higher education and to espouse its causes. 


COL Daugette was the son of Clarence William Daugette who served as the institution’s president from 1899 to 1942 (43 years) and was recognized for his leading role in the school’s eventual transformation to university status.  COL Daugette’s mother was Annie Rowan Forney, daughter of the famous Confederate General John H. Forney, who became the wife of Clarence William Daugette being affectionately known as “the mother of the institution” by virtue of her serving as the first lady of the school.  Extending the reach of the families’ legacies, Annie’s brother had previously served as president of the original Jacksonville State Normal School.


C.W. Daugette, Jr. was a member of the original Jacksonville State University Board of Trustees, serving as chairman for a number of years and receiving the title of trustee emeritus upon his resignation due to illness prior to his death. 


One of the C.W. Daugette, Jr. family’s major contributions to JSU was to enrich the University’s cultural and academic curriculum in the International House Program through establishing the first significant International House endowment program to fund deserving students.  Annual perpetual scholarships for outstanding seniors were established by COL and Mrs. C.W. Daugette, Jr.  The International House facility, completed in September 1964, was named in honor of COL C.W. Daugette, Jr.


The family role in higher education as leaders and advocates bound the COL C.W. Daugette, Jr. couple to JSU throughout their long and eventful lives.  With the death of COL C.W. Daugette, Jr. in 1988, Mrs. Florence Daugette continued her dedication of service to the International House Program, along with the couple’s son, Clarence Daugette, III who serves on the International House Board and daughters Mrs. Lynn Lowe and Mrs. Raymond Renfrow who are faithful supporters of the program.


The International House presented Mrs. C.W. Daugette, Jr. with a copy of a resolution given by the JSU International House Foundation in October, 2001 honoring the Daugette and Forney families for their long-time contribution to the International House and JSU’s academic programs. 


As a tribute to his family’s leadership role at JSU, Clarence W. Daugette, III, pledged $1 million to JSU (Oct. 2005) to fund a range of projects in response to the University’s Capital Campaign. 


According to Dr. Meehan, “Clarence Daugette’s contribution moves JSU toward greatness by assisting with our master plan and other needs in academic and student affairs.”


Dr. John Ketterer, director of JSU’s International House, said, “I am pleased to see that Clarence Daugette, III and the Daugette family have once again taken the leadership role and set the example of commitment to the International House program and to the goals of global understanding that we have always had with this program.”


The Daugette/Forney legacies continue.  With the construction of the Bell Tower serving as a landmark and gateway to the campus, the tower will serve as a lasting symbol of this family’s legacy.


The Daugette family also had strong connections to the community through their association with the Life Insurance Company of Alabama, a company COL Daugette founded in 1952 which led to Mrs. Daugette becoming the company’s Director (1962-2005) and Chairman of the Board (1985-2005). Mrs. Daugette was proud to have her family join in her commitment to serve the Gadsden community and the Southeast through this company.  Their son, Clarence W. Daugette III currently serves as president of the company. 


Mrs. Daugette was a member of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter in Gadsden, Alabama and held local and state offices in the Episcopal Church.  Col. Daugette and she were supporters of the founding in 1951 of the Episcopal Day School of which their daughter was a charter member and Mrs. Daugette served as a substitute teacher.  She has also served as president of the corporate board of the Boys Club of Etowah County and was pleased when the Florence Daugette Club was named in her honor.


Survivors include two daughters, Alburta Martin Daugette Lowe, Florence Anne Daugette Renfrow; a son, Clarence William Daugette, III; and three granddaughters Anne Clare Renfrow, Rosalie Florence Renfrow, and Mary Kinney Lowe.


Visitation and funeral will be held at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter in Gadsden, Alabama.  Visitation is from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, August 17 with the funeral on Saturday, August 18 at 9:30 a.m. at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter. Burial is in Forrest Cemetery.

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