Polly White

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 31, 2008

NATCHEZ – Services for Polly Ann White, 89, of Natchez, who died Tuesday, July 29, 2008, at Promise Specialty Hospital, in Ferriday, will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Holy Family Catholic Church with the Rev. Michael Saah-Buckman officiating.
Burial will follow at Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Webb Funeral Home.
Visitation will be from 9 to 10 a.m. Friday, at the church, with a rosary at 9:30 a.m.
Mrs. White was born April 9, 1919, in Natchez, the daughter of William J. Ratliff and Callie Thompson Ratliff. During her primary and secondary education, in Mississippi, she excelled academically. Despite her academic acumen, Polly often laughed about one of her first jobs as a certified welder during World War II. In 1949, Polly Ann graduated magna cum laude from Southern University, in Baton Rouge, with a bachelor of science degree in business administration with concentration in accounting. She received her master of science degree in accounting from Dequesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1959. As education was always of great importance to Polly Ann, she became a Ford Foundation Fellow in Bloomington, Ind., finishing that program in 1963.
After completing her studies, Polly Ann chose a career in teaching, hoping to instill in others the benefits of education and her love of accounting. From 1950 to 1963, and again from 1970 to 1989, she was a professor of business at Alcorn State University. During her tenure at Alcorn, Polly Ann taught accounting, business administration, business law and business education courses. Ultimately, she rose to becoming department chairperson. Polly Ann also taught accounting and business at Alabama A&M University from 1963 to 1965; and at Grambling State University from 1965 to 1970.
Polly Ann received a number of academic awards and she belonged to many academic and professional associations. These included: the American Accounting Association, the National Accounting Association, the American Business Law Association, National Business Education Association, the American Association of University Professors, the Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society and the Outstanding Educators of America.
Over her 39-year career in education, many of Polly Ann’s students went on to achieve great things and they attributed much of their success to her. One of Polly Ann’s students, the late Dewitt Sullivan, C.P.A., created the Polly Ann White Accounting Award at Alcorn State University. That award was given to two promising accounting students annually. Polly Ann was held in great esteem by the faculty with whom she worked over the years. Upon retiring from teaching at Alcorn State University, university president, the late Clinton Bristow, bestowed upon her the title professor emeritus.
In addition to the many accomplishments of her life, Polly Ann took the most pride in being a devoted sister to Bessie Clark of Baton Rouge, Vivian Pendleton of Baltimore, and Claudia Ratliff Rayford of Washington, D.C., all of whom predeceased her.
Survivors include her nephew and godson, Linwood L. Rayford III; one niece, Claudia Rayford Rodgers; one goddaughter, Sophronia Hughes; and a number of friends.
Pallbearers will be Leon Crawford, Brian Hughes, Tony Hughes, Sam Singleton, Joseph Hayes and Michael Williams.

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