The School of Dance would like to take this opportunity to recognize and celebrate the legacy of Dorothy Clifford who passed away at her home on September 23, 2014. She served as the Friends of Dance organization’s inaugural President when it was founded in 1987 at a time when Nancy Smith Fichter was Chair. She continued to be active for many years supporting the programs of the School of Dance. Friends of Dance is indebted to her vision, enthusiasm and support.
Known as an innovator at the Tallahassee Democrat, Dorothy Clifford was originally a Tennessee native. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Agnes Scott College and later attended the University of Tennessee. She married Gordon Clifford in 1957 and began working at the Democrat 2 years later in 1959. She worked at the Tallahassee Democrat until her retirement in 2001 with the exception of a ten-year sabbatical to raise her three children. Originally hired as the assistant women’s editor, she became the women’s editor in 1961 and led the newspaper to a national award for best women’s section in 1962. After taking her hiatus, Dorothy returned to the Democrat as assistant city editor before returning to her former role as editor of the women’s section. In the 1990’s she transitioned to become a features reporter and columnist, winning several awards at both the national and state level.
Dorothy Clifford is remembered as highly intelligent, gracious, charming, gregarious and quick witted. Funeral services were held for her on September 27th at St. Peter’s Anglican Church.