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Judge Ann Lucas Pugh

Judge Ann Lucas Pugh

The Judge Ann Lucas Pugh Memorial Scholarship Endowment

The late Judge Ann Lucas Pugh credited her career in the criminal justice arena to her education at Arkansas State. A graduate of Blytheville High School, she was aided by a high school counselor who knew of Pugh's desire to attend college. She mapped a course of study and helped Ann apply for scholarships; Ann earned bachelor's and master's degrees at A-State. While teaching in the Memphis City Schools, she pursued a law degree at night. Her legal career began as a public defender; she then switched hats and became a prosecutor.

In 1978 at the age of 32 and only three years out of law school, she was appointed the first woman judge in Shelby County, one of only 12 in Tennessee. Thus began her 34 years in the criminal justice arena, the last 32 as a judge in the Shelby County General Sessions Criminal Court.

Pugh noted the need for caring, concerned and knowledgeable high school guidance counselors who know the importance of scholarships for financially challenged students, both to get them into college and to keep them there. Because she sincerely believed in helping others in need just as she was helped along the way, she established a full-tuition endowed scholarship in her estate plan.