Women of Achievement
for a woman whose sensitivity to women’s needs
led her to tremendous achievements for women:
Frances Grant Loring
Frances Grant Loring was born with deep roots in the Memphis community and a heart committed to making it better.
She has consistently chosen to do the unexpected when it will serve to further literacy, adult education, civil rights, racial and religious justice, and the empowerment of women and minorities.
She is a 12th-generation American and a 6th generation Memphian who lives on and manages Frayser property that has been in her family since 1823. She earned her law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1944 and came home to be a lawyer when that was still a rare move for a woman.
This was during the Crump era when women were not expected to become involved in civic matters. Frances practiced with the firm of Snowden, Davis, Brown, McCloy and Donelson through 1949.
She then ventured in a new direction. She joined a religious order and studied in Cenacle Houses in New York, Chicago and Rome. She took her final vows in Rome in 1957. From 1952 through 1966, Mother Frances worked in counseling and continuing education in various American and Canadian cities.
In 1967 to 1968, she was an assistant to the president of Saint Xavier College in Chicago where she earned an M.A. in theology in 1967.
Returning to Memphis, she was assistant professor and chairman of the theology department at Christian Brothers College from 1968 to 1972. She also has consulted various denominations on adult education and the humanities. She wrote several published studies and manuals on adult education and justice and taught at Memphis Theological Seminary. She is a founding member of the Association of Women Attorneys – who named their leadership award for her and pioneering attorney Marion Griffin – the Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women, Network of Memphis and the Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association.
Frances has served on dozens of local and national boards providing leadership to women and girls throughout her life, including the National Board of Managers of Church Women United and its task force on multinational corporations; the speakers bureau of Women for Memphis; Health and Welfare Planning Council (forerunner of United Way); Planning and Program Committee of Family Service of Memphis and the YWCA.
Frances Grant Loring brought her compassionate understanding of human nature and commitment to justice to decades of service for community change. Steadily since the 1970s, being a lawyer has been her work, but serving others has been her passion. She believes in the inherent dignity and worth of all persons, striving in every way to open doors and improve opportunity for all, particularly women and girls.