Shirley T. Hailstock Awarded The Pinnacle
MADISON, NJ (JUNE 6, 2008) – In ceremonies held on June 6 at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham in Madison, NJ, Shirley T. Hailstock was inducted into the Pinnacle, the highest award the University can bestow upon its alumni. Pinnacle recipients are chosen on the basis of success or distinction in their chosen fields; significant contributions to society and humanity through public or humanitarian service; and outstanding service to the University, or reflection of the unique character of Fairleigh Dickinson in their lives.
Hailstock, a writer of contemporary and historical romance and mainstream women’s fiction, is a resident of Plainsboro, NJ. An award-winning novelist, she has published 24 novels and novellas. She began writing in 1986 after a dare from one of her friends. Hailstock’s debut novel, “Whispers of Love,” was published in 1994.
She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the largest genre writing organization in the world. Hailstock served on the national board, as Regional Director, RITA Contest Chairperson, and as President. She also served as president of New Jersey Romance Writers and is a former officer of Women Writers of Color.
Hailstock was honored with the Emma Merit Award, the highest service award given by the Romance Writers of America.
Her novel, “White Diamonds,” was nominated for a Romantic Times Award as the Best Multicultural Romance of 1996. Romantic Times presented her with a Career Achievement Award and her novel, “Legacy,” received the Waldenbooks Award for Bestselling Multicultural Romance. “Legacy” has also been listed as one of the 100 Greatest Romance novels of the 20th Century.
Her books have appeared on the Top 100 Romances of the 20th Century list, the Essence Magazine Best Seller List, Blackboard, the Library Journal Best Seller List, the Best Books of the Year from Amazon.com and the Glamour Magazine List.
Hailstock has participated in Fairleigh Dickinson University’s FDU Women mentoring program. She also taught accounting at Rutgers University and novel writing at Middlesex County College (NJ).
She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Howard University and a master’s degree in business administration in chemical marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
In presenting the award, Hailstock’s son, Christopher Coles, III, said, “In 1988 you became a member of Romance Writers of America. It wasn’t long before you served as president, and in that capacity, you were a trailblazer. As the first African American president, you pursued opportunities others did not. Colleagues applaud your extraordinary work as president, and praise you for innovative ideas never before attempted. It didn’t come as a surprise when more than 2,000 members of Romance Writers of America gave you a standing ovation after receiving the organization’s highest service award.
“For your outstanding achievements, endless devotion to work and family, and zealous drive, Fairleigh Dickinson salutes you with THE PINNACLE.”