By Karen Middleton
The Athens City Council has appointed its first woman council member in nearly 25 years with the election Monday night of retired Athens State University professor Dr. Mildred Caudle.
The only female council member within memory was Betty Anderson, who served in the early to mid-1980s.
Caudle was nominated by Councilman Johnny Crutcher to fill the unexpired term of Henry White, who was elected state House District 5 representative in the General Election.
She was seated by three affirmative votes cast by Crutcher, Councilman Ronnie Marks and Council President Harold Wales. Councilman Jimmy Gill abstained.
When asked after the meeting why she wanted to serve in the council post, Caudle said she comes by public service naturally.
“I’m civic-minded and I think I get it from my father, who was not a public servant, but he was always there first when someone needed something,” Caudle said.
“My next reason for wanting to serve is my involvement in Spirit of Athens. A number of SOA initiatives require council action, and its good to have this connection.”
The Spirit of Athens is a downtown- revitalization program.
Caudle, who retired from Athens State in 1990 as a professor of history and dean of the School of Humanities, has since been named a professor emeritus.
A native of Belmont, Miss., in Tishomingo County, which she refers to as the “back side of nowhere,” Caudle came to Athens at age 16, a new high school graduate ready to enroll in Athens State.