Susan Audé

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Susan Audé
Born (1952-10-31) October 31, 1952 (age 64)
Nationality United States
Other names Susan Bloxham, Susan Fisher
Known for news anchor working in a wheelchair

Susan Audé (born October 31, 1952) is a retired American television news anchor in Columbia, South Carolina at WIS-TV. A child of military service parents she entered adulthood from Virginia to Erskine College in South Carolina in 1972 when she was seriously injured in a car accident in 1974. Living the rest of her life in a wheelchair she overcame depression and anger at the time and earned degrees and a career in television news broadcast starting 1978 and retired in 2006 as well as working in theatre and public speaking. Raised a Methodist she converted to the Bahá'í Faith in 1995 and she says it broadened her views of society and religion.

Personal life[edit]

Audé was born on Halloween 1952 into a military family living in many locations - she graduated from highschool in Germany[1][2][3] and was in Fort Lee, Virginia about the time she went to college.[1]

Audé attended Erskine College from about 1972[2] because an aunt and uncle attended,[1] served as a dorm representative to the student government council,[3] and was a runner-up in the contest for Homecoming Queen.[4] In 1974 Audé was in a car hit by a truck[1] - two were killed and two others injured - during her junior year, and suffered severe internal injuries.[5] She recovered but was left paralyzed from the waist down. She has spent her life since then in a wheelchair. Following a year of hospitalization and rehabilitation, during which she suffered depression and anger,[6] she went on to finish her college education, competed for national Miss Wheelchair America after winning at Virginia's Miss Wheelchair, Paralympic Games with distinction in javelin and shot put contests,[7] was elected Erskine Homecoming Queen in 1975-76,[8] and earned an A. B. in English and Spanish in 1976.[9] She earned a master's degree in journalism/communications[1] from the University of South Carolina at Columbia in 1978 and joined Kappa Tau Alpha.[9]

Audé has often spoken of how her spiritual faith shaped her life. In 1995,[1] while attending a Methodist Church where she was teaching Sunday School and attended seminary classes, Audé began a period of intense study of the Bahá'í Faith across some three years before converting following contact with a friend of her daughter's parents and her own exploration including some 20 books in about a year.[1] The conversion brought awareness of her social circle having limited exposure to people of other races, and provided an optimism of the future of humanity and affirmed her sense of ethics for journalists.[1] She has organized Bahá'í study circles,[1] and assisted in Bahá'í publication.[10]

During her newscaster career Audé was actively involved in many activities and organizations and upon her retirement in 2006 she was awarded the state's highest civilian honor: The Order of the Palmetto for her contributions to the state by then Governor Mark Sanford.[11]

Audé married Kevin Fisher in 1982. She was known as Susan Audé Fisher on-air until their 2001 divorce. They have a grown daughter, Blythe.

Careers[edit]

Broadcasting[edit]

Audé entered the television news business inspired by Barbara Walters[1] 12 years before the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 initially as weather announcer and reporter.[9] "If I went to cover a story that was on a second floor of a building that didn't have elevators or ramps," Audé said in a 2006 interview on the Today Show, "I couldn't go back to the newsroom and say 'I couldn't get the story.'"

Initially hired as a "weather girl"[1] she was visible on the intro to the station's new during the intro.[12] After a year at WIS-TV[13] she was a weekend anchor,[1][9][14][15] and by 1982 she joined longtime anchorman Ed Carter on the weekday newscasts as the first full-time female anchor in Columbia television history.[1][16] She and Carter were together for 16 years until Carter's retirement in 1998.

In 1981 she was elected president of the state chapter of the Associated Press Broadcasters Association.[17]

Audé announced her retirement on February 1, 2006 after 28 years as a television news reporter and anchor.[18]

Speaker and services[edit]

In 1983 Audé returned to Erskine to give the first "Cardwell speaker",[9][19] In 1984[20] and 1989[21] she addressed a legislative conference. In 1985 she gave the commencement speech at the Valencia Community College's Computer Programmer Training for the Disabled.[6] In 1995 she addressed the graduating class of Erskine College[22] and was named as a new board of trustee of the college[23] and a vp of a committee that raised funds for the college in 1998.[24] In 1996 she helped with the Columbus Musical Festival Association,[25] was interviewd by Clemson-based Making It Grow! educational television program,[26] and was part of the carrying of the Olympic torch through South Carolina for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.[27] In 1998 she spoke to a chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.[28]

Her life and accomplishments have been the subject of stories in Good Housekeeping[29] and Ms. magazines,[30] as well as on CNN and Lifetime[31] cable channels and Sally Jesse Raphael.[32] In 2003 Audé hosted a South Carolina Educational Television documentary on special-care children.[33]

In 2010 Audé was emcee at an April 2010 tea party rally in front of the South Carolina Statehouse.[34]

For the Bahá'í Faith[edit]

Since retiring from broadcasting as a professional career she has traveled, given talks,[35] and worked part-time at Bahá'í Radio, WLGI, in South Carolina including interviews of Bahá'ís for broadcast.[1] She was interviewed on the radio program and podcast series A Bahá'í Perspective[1] as well as contributing to its body of work reviewing authors of books at the library at the Louis Gregory Institute.[36]

Theatre career[edit]

Audè has appeared in a variety of plays. In 1972 she appeared in What did we do wrong? by Henry Denker while attending Erskine College,[37] as well as publishing some poetry.[38] In the late 1980s Audé appeared in two films - Distortions (1987) as Mourner #9,[39] and in Staying Together (film) (playing herself).[40] Audé played Madame Rosemonde in Workshop Theatre of South Carolina's January/February 2009 production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons).[41]

Awards and honors[edit]

Audé received dozens of honors across her life. While at the University of Columbia for her master's degree she was added to the "Who's who among students in American Universities and Colleges" as rookie of the year.[9] Good Housekeeping listed her as one of its "100 Young Women of Promise".[29] In 1988 Columbia University awarded her an honorary doctorate in humanities,[42] and was awarded the Handicapped Professional of the US and was a runner up for the international award for the state chapter of "Pilot International".[43] In 1998, Audé was named to the University of South Carolina College of Journalism's "Diamond Circle".[13] In 1999 she won the "Sullivan Award" from Erskine College.[44] The Governor's Commission on Women honored Audé with its 2001 Woman of Achievement Award which is presented for "remarkable accomplishments and commitment to our state".[13] In 2006 she was awarded the state's highest civilian honor: The Order of the Palmetto for her contributions to the state by then Governor Mark Sanford.[11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Susan Aude (Dec 12, 2007). A Baha'i Perspective (Radio/Podcast). 
  2. ^ a b "Greenville poet to be at Erskine". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, South Carolina. 5 Jan 1972. p. 8. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Council officers". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, South Carolina. 25 May 1972. p. 17. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  4. ^ *"Twenty girls seek Erskine Homecoming crown Saturday". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, South Carolina. 28 Oct 1972. p. 12. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  5. ^ * "McLeod's daughter injured". Florence Morning News. Florence, South Carolina. 30 Mar 1974. p. 15. Retrieved Nov 25, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Diane Hubbard Burns (June 25, 1985). "Giving Up's The Only Thing Disabled Newswoman Can't Do". The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando, Florida. 
  7. ^ "Erskine's Susan Bloxham seeks Miss Wheelchair America title". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, South Carolina. 24 Sep 1975. p. 11. Retrieved Nov 25, 2015. 
  8. ^ * "Greenwood woman is finalist - Virginia woman crowned Miss Arrow at Erskine". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, South Carolina. 20 Oct 1975. p. 13. Retrieved Nov 25, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Fisher to speak at Erskine". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, South Carolina. 22 Feb 1983. p. 8. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  10. ^ Shahin Vafai (1 January 2005). The Essence of the Covenant: Features, History, and Implications. Palabra Publications. p. iii. ISBN 978-1-890101-27-5. 
  11. ^ a b "Order of the Palmetto Recipients - Alphabetical List" (PDF). SC.Gov. March 13, 2013. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  12. ^ Alan Taylor, Susan Aude, and Terry Chick (Sep 23, 2006) [May 27, 1978]. WIS-TV Newscast Intro 1978], Drew Stewart (video/television). Columbia, SC: Drew Stewart. 
  13. ^ a b c "Susan Aude". WIS TV Website Biography. WIS TV. Archived from the original on September 8, 2005. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  14. ^ * "Physical handicap not handicap to reporter". Florence Times-Tri Cities Daily Times Daily -. Nov 25, 1981. p. 52. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  15. ^ Susan Aude (Sep 25, 2006) [August 1980]. WIS-TV Newscast Intro 1980 (video/television). Columbia, SC: Drew Stewart. 
  16. ^ Ed Carter, Susan Aude-Fisher, (Oct 12, 2006) [March 29, 1984]. WIS-TV Newscast Intro 1984 (video/television). Columbia, SC: Drew Stewart. 
  17. ^ "Broadcasters name officers". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, South Carolina. 19 Jan 1981. p. 18. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  18. ^ Bryce Mursch (February 2, 2006). "News 10's Susan Aude announces her retirement". WIS TV. Archived from the original on May 23, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Erskine to award three honorary degrees during May commencement". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, South Carolina. 25 Mar 1990. p. 29. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Daniel, delegation members conference guests". The Gaffney Ledger. Gaffney, South Carolina. 20 Feb 1984. p. 6. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  21. ^ Dianna Borsi (10 Mar 1989). "TV anchor challenges state, local B&PW members". The Gaffney Ledger. Gaffney, South Carolina. p. 16. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Journalist to deliver graduation address at Erskine". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, South Carolina. 14 May 1995. p. 6. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Erskine trustees to hold meeting". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, South Carolina. 25 Jun 1995. p. 8. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Erskine board announces $700,000 in gifts". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, South Carolina. 25 Oct 1998. p. 6. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  25. ^ "In Columbia, the Columbia Music Festival Association …". The Index-Journac. Greenwood, South Carolina. 25 Apr 1996. p. 14. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  26. ^ Places We've Visited in 1996 (Susan Aude) (June 5, 1996). Making It Grow! (Television). Columbia: SC ETV. 
  27. ^ "Olympic torch to hit city not county of Greenville". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, South Carolina. 25 Jun 1996. p. 3. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  28. ^ Carla Bray (Dec 5, 1998). "Survival skills - Journalist: Family, friends help people succeed in their lives". The Item. Sumnter, South Carolina. p. 2. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  29. ^ a b Linda Shrieves (Jun 19, 1985). "Anchorwoman finds success despite adversity". The Sumter Daily Item. Sumter, South Carolina. p. 50. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  30. ^ Ms. Magazine, Ms. Foundation for Education and Communication, January 1981, p. 158 
  31. ^ "(LIF) Good Housekeeping:A Better Way". The Galveston Daily News. Galveston, Texas). 1 Apr 1984. p. 56. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  32. ^ Susan Aude Fisher (April 28, 1997). "Susan Aude Fisher, Erskine Class of 1976". netnews. Erskine College. Archived from the original on June 13, 1997. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  33. ^ "S.C. medical project celebrates anniversary". The Item. Columbia, South Carolina. Apr 1, 2003. p. 37. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Local TV stars find new career paths". The State. Columbia, South Carolina. May 16, 2010. Archived from the original on July 21, 2010. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  35. ^ Rebecca Whitehead (April 12, 2001). "Susan Aude Fischer tells of her Baha'i beliefs". The Daily Gamecock. Colombia, South Carolina. Archived from the original on May 20, 2009. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  36. ^ *WLGI Baha'i Bookshelf with Susan Aude (January 10, 2008). A Baha'i Perspective (Radio/Podcast). 
    • WLGI Baha'i Bookshelf with Susan Aude (February 16, 2008). A Baha'i Perspective (Radio/Podcast). 
  37. ^ "Comedy opens at Erskine Friday night". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, South Carolina. 6 Apr 1972. p. 13. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  38. ^ "Erskine student poems published". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, South Carolina. 8 Apr 1972. p. 9. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  39. ^ Susan Audé on Internet Movie Database
  40. ^ Susan Audé on Internet Movie Database
  41. ^ "Sex, Decadence in Les Liaisons Dangereuses". Free Times. February 4, 2009. Retrieved Nov 25, 2015. 
  42. ^ "Campus scenes". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, South Carolina. 15 May 1988. p. 16. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  43. ^ "S.C. district pilot international meeting in Columbia". The Index-Journal. Greenwood, South Carolina. 13 Jun 1988. p. 12. Retrieved March 20, 2015. 
  44. ^ "Sullivan Award Recipients". Alumni Awards. Erskine College. Retrieved March 20, 2015.