Retiring State Senator Thelma Harper (D-Nashville) was honored on Thursday by her colleagues in the Tennessee General Assembly, friends and constituents, and mayoral candidate Carol Swain.
The event was held at the Legislative Library Lounge of the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville.
“I, along with thousands of other Tennesseeans, will miss Senator Thelma Harper,” Swain, who attended the celebration of Harper’s career, said in a statement released by her campaign.
“As the first elected black state senator and the first woman to ever preside over the state Senate, Sen. Harper has earned her place in Tennessee history. Thelma Harper is a legend. I would like to see the Frist Museum or another state or local museum offer the public a special exhibit of her signature hat collection,” the former Vanderbilt professor added.
Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, Harper’s colleague in the State Senate, also gave Harper high praise.