There are few Arkansans - women or men - who have spoken more eloquently on the cause of civil rights and social justice than Dorothy D. Stuck. In the turbulent era of the late 1950s through the 1960s, she was a leading and sometimes lone, voice in calling for equality for all in Arkansas.
During this time she and her husband Howard were publishers of three east Arkansas newspapers - the Marked Tree Tribune, the Lepanto News Record, and the Truman Democrat. She received the Press woman of the Year award in 1964 and 1969. She was a charter member of the Arkansas Press Women and later served as its president.
In 1968, she was elected to represent Poinsett County in the Arkansas Constitutional Convention and was elected to chair the Suffrage and Election Committee, the only woman to chair a major committee.
She was able to put her words into action when she was named in 1970 as Regional Director, U.S. Office for Civil Rights, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Dallas Region, including Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. In this position, she was responsible for adherence to desegregation of public schools, institutions of higher learning and state health organizations. She served a temporary assignment as acting national Deputy Director of the office for Civil Rights in Washington, D.C., and was among those responsible for the implementation of Title IX, providing equal opportunities for women in education. She received HEW's Distinguished Service Award, which is the Department's highest civilian award, for her leadership in civil rights.
Also while in Dallas, she was the first woman to chair the Dallas-Fort Worth Federal Executive Board and was named one of Dallas' Top Ten Women News-Shapers.
After nine years, she returned home to Arkansas and became a partner in Stuck and Snow Consultants, a Little Rock-based management and publications consulting firm. She also became a charter board-member of Southern Bancorp, a rural development bank serving the Delta area. As a board member, she coined the term “Building Communities, Changing Lives” to characterize the bank's work. She served on the board of the bank’s holding company and chaired the board of its non-profit partner, Southern Bancorp Community Partners.
After 30 years, she retired from the board, at which time Southern Bancorp established the Dorothy Stuck Empowerment Award that will be given annually to the employee whose work best exemplifies her goals.
A graduate of the University of Arkansas, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008. While a student at the university, she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and later served for nine years as editor of "The Arrow," the sorority's national magazine.
Upon her retirement, she co-authored a biography, "ROBERTA: A Most Remarkable Fulbright" which reached the best-seller list in Arkansas and received an award of merit from the American Association of state and Local History.
Currently, she is a member of the Winthrop Rockefeller Lecture Board. She is one of those featured in the Rockefeller Museum on Petit Jean. She has also been a part of the Arkansas women's exhibit at the Old Statehouse Museum. She is listed in the book, "100 Women of Achievement in Arkansas" and included in the University of Arkansas' Pryor Center for Oral and Visual History which features life histories of outstanding Arkansans. She has been honored by the Archives of the Women of the Southwest at Southern Methodist University in its "Remember the Ladies" recognition program.
Dorothy's husband Howard died in 1981, and their son, Howard III, in 1990. She now resides in Little Rock. Often introduced as an "Arkansas Legend", it can be easily said that her courage in a time of democratic upheaval has earned her well-deserved admiration and respect.