A Renaissance Woman
Mickie Newbill Edwardson joined the faculty of the College of Journalism and Communications in 1958 as its first female member. The college has never been the same since. Here are just a few thoughts about the life of this remarkable woman:
She achieved the highest rank that the University of Florida could bestow, that of Distinguished Service Professor, and she was the first woman on campus to receive that award. She not only was loved by her students but established and contributed to many scholarships providing student aid. Her caring for students continued long after she retired from teaching. She contributed financially toward student documentaries and helped pay for a trip to Haiti for a documentary student after the university restricted the use of its funding because of a ban on travel there.
Mickie chose to get involved with groups which featured the hallmark of bettering the life of her fellow man. In her lifelong pursuit of preparing the next generation to enter the work force, she took the time to seek fair treatment for her colleagues in Academia. Her work in the teachers union brought her caring attitude to the fore. She was a well-respected scholar and teacher and had no need, personally, for most of what a union could provide, but she realized that many of her younger colleagues were not as lucky. It was her caring attitude that drove her to embrace that cause.
Mickie was a great raconteur and held numerous dinner parties for her friends and fellow faculty members and students. At these gatherings she would relate stories of growing up in Texas. Mickie attended Texas State College for Women and participated in numerous theatrical productions. Since there were no male students, the male parts in the plays had to be assumed by young women. She would boast of her acting prowess in taking on the role of Romeo in Shakespeare’s play and have her audience of dinner companions in stitches.
She had an enormous appetite for musical drama of the high degree. She traveled far and wide to witness live productions in New York; Bayreuth, Germany; California; Sarasota, and many other destinations. She had a large collection of opera and opera memorabilia and she was a faithful attendee of the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD showings at local movie screens. She was asked, frequently, to give curtain speeches at local music and theatrical performances.
Mickie chose to get involved with groups which featured the hallmark of bettering the life of her fellow man.
Mickie hosted fundraising efforts for opera on WUFT-FM, when it was Classic 89. Largely through her participation in those fund drives, WUFT-FM was able to raise amounts on contributions that often equaled or exceeded comparable efforts during news hours.
Her Oscar viewing parties were legendary. Each year at Academy Award time, Mickie would invite a select few to view the televised handing out of Oscars to the Hollywood crowd. Invitations to this event were coveted because the recipients knew that they could expect good food, good drink, good company and, depending on the year, good entertainment.
At the time of her death she had completed a biography of the late chairman of the Federal Communications Commission James Lawrence Fly, a fellow Texan and a man as courageous in his own way as Mickie was in hers. In fighting attempts by the government to wiretap citizens in war time and protecting the airwaves from being controlled by big business, Mr. Fly was an unsung hero of broadcasting. She certainly would not claim this, but Mickie Edwardson could have been writing about herself.
- The Fab Four: Gator grads launch new all-sports format on WRUF-AM
- Gator grads head The Miami Herald newsroom
- John Spence: one of nation’s top 100 thought leaders
- Mike Neumeier: The Power of PR
- Melissa Lyttle named to association board
- Three College graduates honored at the Florida Heritage Awards
- 21st Century News Laboratory opens
- College plans digital communication laboratory
- Finding love at the CJC
Coming & going
- Christiano named to Karel Endowed Chair
- Wanta is new Journalism chair
- College welcomes three new faculty members
- New staff
- Harry Guscott retires after 39 years
- Advertising students receive national recognition
- Public Relations team wins international competition
- College restructures media properties
- College and UAA enter into partnership
- College broadcasts local high school game
- Jerry Davis
- Marion B. Brechner
- Mickie Newbill Edwardson