Retired UF professor honored


Mildred A. Hill-Lubin, left, the recipient of the 2012 Friends of Susan B. Anthony Award, with Barbara Oberlander, who received the award in 2000. (Special to the Guardian)

Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 2:26 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 2:26 p.m.

Mildred A. Hill-Lubin, a retired University of Florida professor and community activist, has been honored with the prestigious 2012 Friends of Susan B. Anthony Award in recognition of her long-time advocacy for equal rights.

"Dr. Hill-Lubin was recognized for her pioneering work in introducing African and Africa-American literature to the University of Florida, her advocacy for equal rights and for the advancement of women, and her extensive community involvement," said June Littler, in a press release from the Friends of Susan B. Anthony.

Anthony (1820-1906) was a leader of the 19th century women's rights movement. Hill-Lubin was honored during a recent lunch, held annually by the Friends of Susan B. Anthony to celebrate the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

"I'm honored to receive this prestigious award on behalf of a lot of others who have made significant contributions to women's rights," Hill-Lubin said. "I've always been involved in race rights and women's rights."

Hill-Lubin, 79, served as a professor in the UF English Department from 1974 until her retirement in 2003. She was married to the late Dr. Maurice A. Lubin, a professor of English at Howard University. They have two children, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Hill-Lubin said in 1974 there were very few African-American and women professors at UF.

"I was able to teach courses on black women writers," she said, adding that she drew from black women writers of the 1920s literary renaissance, including Zora Neale Hurston, who is considered one of the pre-eminent writers of 20th century African-American literature.

Hill-Lubin is a member of several local organizations, including the Pleasant Street Historic Society, the Gainesville Commission on the Status of Women, which is an advisory board established by the Gainesville City Commission to advocate for women; the Gainesville/Alachua County chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., the Gainesville chapter of the Links and The Visionaries.

When asked for her advice to other women, Hill-Lubin recommended that women find a career that will make them happy.

"Trust in God and ask for direction," Hill-Lubin said. "Be passionate in what you choose and be determined that you can succeed and overcome obstacles that may be placed in front of you."

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