Georgia Author of the Year Connie Carey pays tribute to influential teacher, fellow Shorter graduate Nancy Claxton

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Shorter Alumna Connie Mercer Carey returned to the Hill recently as the featured speaker at the Little Black Dress Tea to raise funds for women’s scholarships. Her presentation both delighted and inspired the attendees and revealed her heart for God.

“May I just tell you how much I appreciated the opportunity to be with you at the Little Black Dress Tea,” she wrote in an email following the event. “I hope you laughed a little and your heart was reminded of the incredible love God has for you. As a proud Shorter alumna, I loved seeing how the school has grown and meeting some of the outstanding students being served.”

Since graduating from Shorter in 1982 with a degree in piano performance, Mrs. Carey has built a successful career as an award-winning speaker, professional singer, and best-selling author. Her book, Falling Up: Lessons Learned on the Way Down, earned her the Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2015. She earned the Master of Music degree from Southern Methodist University. She finished in the top 18 at the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking, where she competed against speakers from 122 countries, and won the Toastmasters 8-State Humorous Speech Contest.

A video Connie Carey shared on YouTube in 2014 illustrates her speaking prowess as she delivers a monologue and pays tribute to a teacher who had a great effect on her life. That teacher is her fellow Shorter alumna Nancy Jenkins Claxton, who graduated from Shorter in 1971 with a degree in piano performance. The monologue ends with a piano duet by teacher and student, both of whom are from Dublin, Ga.

See photos of the 2017 Little Black Dress Tea


Founded in 1873, Shorter University is a Christian university committed to excellence in education. The Princeton Review annually includes Shorter on its list of best Southeastern Colleges. The university offers traditional bachelor’s degree program in 40 areas of study, online courses and degree programs, undergraduate programs for working adults, and four master’s programs. Learn more about Shorter at