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Caro Lane papers

Carolynne Chamberlin Lane, known affectionately as "Miss Caro," was born on Sept. 12, 1894, in Milledgeville, Georgia. Her grandfather migrated to Milledgeville from Maine to design and build the original Oglethorpe University; he also did carpentry work on the Governor's Mansion.

Lane attended high school in Milledgeville before going on to earn her B.S. from Georgia State College for Women, now Georgia College & State University, in 1924. In 1925, she earned an M.A. from Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee. During the next few years she was able to take courses at Columbia University, the University of North Carolina and Louisiana State University.

Lane began her teaching career in the public schools of Georgia in 1913. In 1917, she was appointed by the Georgia Department of Education as Supervisor of Health and Physical Education, a position she held until 1932, when she moved to Statesboro to become the Director of Health and Physical Education for Women at South Georgia Teachers College, now Georgia Southern University. She also helped establish a health and physical education department at the college.

While at South Georgia Teachers College, Lane noticed that some students were unable to afford a college education, especially when the Great Depression paralyzed the nation and its economy. Willing to help, Lane opened her home to a few of those students and helped them finish their college education. Before the end of her life, she helped over fifty students through college by allowing them to stay in her home while they attended classes, or paying for their education herself. One such student was J.D. Purvis who became an FBI agent. Purvis has written several books, one of which was dedicated to Lane, a woman he called his "Fairy Godmother."

In 1936, Lane left Statesboro and moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to become an Assistant Professor of Health and Physical Education at Louisiana State University. She remained in this position for eight years before joining the Louisiana State Department of Education. In Louisiana, she was the Acting Supervisor of Health and Physical Education, a position in which she served from 1944-1947. In 1947, she became a consultant in the Louisiana Department of Education in the area of exceptional children. In 1953, she was again promoted by the State Department of Education when she was named the Director of Special Education. In 1953, Lane moved from the Louisiana Department of Education to the Department of Health where she served as a school health consultant. She served in this position until her retirement in 1970.

In Georgia she was a pioneer in the establishment of health and physical education in the public schools. She was also instrumental in the formation of the Georgia Association for Health and Physical Education. She helped form a counterpart for the organization in Louisiana, as well as played a significant role in the formation of the Southern District Association for Health and Physical Education. While in Louisiana she was instrumental in creating the positions of Supervisor of Safety Education and Consultant in Health Education. She was also responsible for the creation of the first program for exceptional children in the state.

Lane was also active in securing more opportunities for women in the fields of athletics and education. She was the organizer and first chairwoman of the Advisory Council on Women's Athletics for the state of Louisiana. She was also a member of the P.E.O.-a philanthropic and educational organization that brought increased opportunities to women in higher education through its philanthropic projects. She served as an officer in the Baton Rouge chapter of the organization and participated in fundraising in the chapter that helped fund scholarships and loans to deserving young women seeking a college education. In 1976, Lane was honored by the City of Baton Rouge with its Golden Deeds Award, an honor given to members of the community who give unselfishly to their fellow citizens. She died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on September 16,1996 . In keeping with her affection for education and scientific inquiry, Lane's body was donated to medical science for research.