A passion for education and a gift for song have been Dr. Frances Stallworth’s ticket around the globe.

Her career in education had a tumultuous beginning as she attended school during the era of segregation. Frances overcame those challenges and went on to earn an undergraduate degree in composition from FAMU and a Ph.D. in English from Florida State University.

Despite the obstacles that stood in her way in her early career, Frances rose above and beyond, teaching all across the Florida Panhandle – and eventually the world. It was only this past year that Frances retired from a 24-year teaching career at FAMU. Just a few of her international education achievements include presenting a paper in England at the University of Oxford, teaching English in Dalian, China, and being invited by a village chief to teach in Ghana.

Encouraged from a young age to embrace her talent for singing, Frances has spent years bringing smiles to people’s faces with the mere sound of her voice. She has sung for former Governor Bob Graham, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, and Rep. Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman elected to Congress. The village chief in Ghana was particularly entranced by her voice and brought her to neighboring villages so she could sing for them too.

Frances’ combined love of song and expertise in education has shaped the nature of her service to the Tallahassee community. She proudly supports Florida A&M University in several capacities, including serving as advisor to the FAMU Gospel Choir for 20 years and contributing annually to the FAMU Foundation. She is always looking for ways to assist needy families, whether it is through the National Hook-Up of Black Women, Inc., or the Tallahassee Urban League.

Dr. Frances Stallworth has enjoyed a life dedicated to spreading knowledge, music, and hope to her community. She encourages everyone to live their life as an example to others – a goal we can safely say she has achieved. Asked about what guidance she would give to younger generations, she thinks for a moment and advises, “Don’t listen to naysayers, because misery loves company.”