Dora Hanson James graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia with a BA degree in English and a minor in Education. Mrs. James was appointed in 2005 to The Alabama State Council on the Arts Board by Governor Riley. Mrs. James serves as Chair of the Council. Most recently she served as Vice-Chair of the Council and on the Long-Range Planning Committee.
Mrs. James serves on the boards of The East Alabama Medical Center Foundation, the
Women’s Philanthropy Board of the College of Human Sciences at Auburn University,
is past president of The Auburn Woman’s Club, and is past chair of Envision Opelika
Foundation and The Community Foundation of East Alabama. Other boards she has served
on in the past include the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the J. W. Darden
House Foundation, the Lee County Habitat for Humanity, the Boys and Girls Clubs
of Greater Lee County and the Achievement Center for Easter Seals in Lee County.
She is a founding member of the East Alabama Arts Association (formerly The Opelika
Arts Association) where she held many positions, including board member and association
president. Other community activities include her work on the advisory board of
the Jule Collins Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University, and her service as president
of the Alabama Legislative Club from 2003-2005. Mrs. James remains active on the
Founders Board of Lee-Scott Academy in Auburn where her involvement has been felt
in many areas of this educational facility. She has published two books of children’s
stories and a volume of poetry written by her late father Dr. James Fletcher Hanson
of Macon, Georgia.
Mrs. James is a member of The Daughters of the American Revolution and currently
serves as Chair of The Auburn-Opelika Town Committee of the Colonial Dames of America.
Honors include being named a “Woman of Distinction” in 2009 by the Girl Scouts of
Southern Alabama; in 2009 she was named the recipient of The National Medallion
by the Boys and Girls Club on Greater Lee County, and in 2012 she was named as recipient
of The Community Champion Award by same Boys and Girls Club. She also received the Distinguished Service Award in 2012 from the Opelika Chamber of Commerce
Mrs. James was married to the late Calvin Ellington James, Sr. of Opelika. She has
three children, Sidney James Nakhjavan (Behzad) of Auburn, Calvin Ellington James,
Jr. (Ashley) of Auburn, and Kathryn-Aimee Rebecca James of San Francisco, California
and four grandchildren in Auburn. Her hobbies include gardening and outside activities
on her farm in Lee County and traveling and playing and spending time with grandchildren,
family and friends.