Mary Jane Bell Sharp, a graduate of the Home Economics program in 1948, has passed away. The Home Economics program is now known as the Department of Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Management in the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences Mary Jane was a Torchbearer for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the first female Fulbright award winner. She was also President of Omicron Nu-a society for more advanced students which recognized scholarship, leadership and research in the field of home economics; the Mortar Board Society-a national women’s senior women’s organization whose members were chosen on the basis of leadership, service, scholarship, and character; a member of the Panhellenic Council-the governing body for the Lady Greek organizations; secretary for the Women’s Students Organization; Home Economics representative for the All Students Club Council; Second Vice-President of the Home Economics Club; the Senior Publicity Officer for the Y.W.C.A. Cabinet of the Christian Association; and a member of Alpha Omicron Pi.
After graduating from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Sharp continued, as an alumna, to serve as a Chapter Adviser, Corporation Board President and as a delegate for the Omicron Nu committee for 20+ years. In her first job, she was a Tennessee State Home Economist and Clothing Specialist; a merchandising specialist and Director of Specialty Fashion at a downtown Atlanta department store, Rich’s. She then transferred to Knoxville with Rich’s where she planned the new store’s fabrics and fashion departments for their grand opening in 1955.
Enjoy this video featuring Mary Jane from 2011 when featured by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and you will share in her love and spirit for her alma mater. You may learn more about Mary Jane’s life and career as shared in her obituary here.