The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Dr. Clifford L. Hendrix, Jr., Vilma S. Fields, Lyda Y. McKeldin, and Rev. Paul A. McDaniel

UTC Honors Legacy Award Recipients

Vilma S. Fields, Dr. Clifford Hendrix, Jr., Reverend Paul McDaniel and Lyda Y. McKeldin were honored Friday, February 20th at the Legacy Dinner held on the UTC campus. UTC and the UTC African American Advisory Committee sponsored the event.

“The individuals we honor with the Legacy Awards have collectively made superb contributions to advance the cause of African-Americans in the Chattanooga area. I am thankful the University takes time to honor their achievements,” said Chancellor Bill Stacy.

As executive director of the Chattanooga African American Museum and Bessie Smith Hall, Vilma S. Fields has touched many lives. She has received numerous awards including recognition from the National African American Museum Association, Glenwood Business and Professional Women’s Club, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, 100 Black Women of Chattanooga, American Lung Association, Thomas Chapel A.M. E. and Phi Delta Kappa Sorority. A graduate of Howard High School and Clark College of Atlanta, Fields has also done graduate work as well. She is married to Charles Williams Fields, and the couple has four children.

Reverend Paul McDaniel has been spiritual leader of the Second Missionary Baptist Church for over 35 years. He served for 20 years on the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, including eight terms as chairman. In 1973, he was elected president of the Tennessee Leadership Education Congress. In 1975, he received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Friendship Junior College, Rock Hill, S.C. McDaniel also received various service awards from community organizations throughout Chattanooga. McDaniel is a graduate of Morehouse College, Colgate Rochester Divinity School, and the University of Rochester. McDaniel and his wife Linda are the parents of four children.

Dr. Clifford L. Hendrix has dedicated 38 years of his career to the Chattanooga Public Schools and served in several administrative roles, including Deputy Superintendent of Schools. Hendrix has served on numerous boards and foundations in the Chattanooga area. He is a graduate of Howard High School, and he holds a master’s degree from Tennessee State University, and the doctorate from The University of Tennessee. Hendrix serves on the University of Chattanooga Board of Trustees.

Lyda Y. McKeldin was the first African-American to teach classrooms of all races in Chattanooga, introducing many children to a leader in the area’s civil rights movement. McKeldin provided new opportunities for youth by establishing the first chapter of the National Honor Society at Howard High School. She was also honored as the first African-American Trustee of Girls Preparatory School. She has received many awards from local agencies, including being named by the Chattanooga Free Press as one of 50 women who have contributed the most to Chattanooga. McKeldin holds a master’s degree from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University, and an associate’s degree from Morristown Jr. College. She was married to the late Harry W. McKeldin, Jr. and has three children and five grandchildren.