college president, activist for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA). Born Mary Rice in Harrisonburg, Virginia, she was the acknowledged daughter of confederate general John R. Jones and Malinda Rice, who was hired as a servant in his household at the age of seventeen in 1873. There appears to have been some enduring affection between Jones and Rice. He acknowledged paternity of Mary and her brother William, and his first wife, Sarah, ill and often confined to bed, asked to see the children and gave them presents. Mary Rice was raised in part by John Rice, Malinda's brother, and his wife Dolly. She also spent time in Jones's household, and after Sarah Jones died in 1879 the general bought a house for Malinda and her children The immediate neighborhood was racially mixed ...
Frank E. Dobson
educator and scholar. The grandson of slaves, Horace Mann Bond was born in Nashville, Tennessee, to two graduates of Oberlin College, Jane Alice Browne, a schoolteacher, and James Bond, a minister. Named after the abolitionist and educator Horace Mann, Bond was an academic prodigy, graduating from high school at the age of fourteen. He attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and was something of a mascot to his older classmates. Labeled the “class baby” by some, Bond proved himself a leader, becoming involved in a number of activities, including the school newspaper, debate, and a social fraternity. Bond graduated from Lincoln with honors in 1923, at the age of eighteen.
Following graduation Bond was offered a teaching post at Lincoln in preparation he took graduate courses at Pennsylvania State College While at Penn State Bond excelled academically but he encountered racism from a white professor who refused ...
president of Allen University, thirty‐seventh bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, was born in Winnsboro, South Carolina, the son of Henry Chappelle and Patsy McCrory Chappelle. Contemporary sources state that he was born enslaved, as were 98 percent of African Americans in South Carolina on the eve of the Civil War. There remains a possibility that he was free, since his recently widowed mother reported in the 1900 census that she was born in November 1827, and had been married fifty‐four years. Chappelle's maternal grandparents were Samuel and Fanny McCrory. Such stability of family name and marriage bonds may mean that his parents, or one of his parents had known freedom.
Chappelle attended the Fairfield Normal Institute at Winnsboro a school funded by northern Presbyterians staffed by northern educators considered white He experienced a Christian conversion at the age of nineteen making a life long ...
Tom W. Dillard
Joseph Carter Corbin was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, on March 26, 1833, of free parents, William and Susan Corbin. By attending several small schools he secured a basic education, and in 1850 he entered Ohio University, of Athens, Ohio. He received his bachelor's degree in 1853 and his master's in 1856. Before receiving his graduate degree, Corbin had accepted employment with a bank in Cincinnati, Ohio. Later, he taught at a school in Louisville, Kentucky. During the Civil War (1861–1865) Corbin edited a Cincinnati newspaper, the Colored Citizen. In 1866 he married Mary Jane Ward. The couple had six children, only two of whom survived their father.
Corbin and his family moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1872, where he worked as a reporter for the Republican Party newspaper, the Daily Republican Like many other African Americans of that day ...
Kelsey Schurer and Marina Reasoner
sheriff and college president, was born in Jacksonville, Florida. His father, Nathaniel Glover Sr., was a part-time Baptist pastor, and his mother, Arsie Singletary Glover, cleaned houses; together they raised five children in a two-room house in downtown Jacksonville. As a boy, Glover worked to provide funds for his family, first selling copies of the city's black newspaper, and later working at a local cafe. While walking home from work in 1960 Glover encountered a crowd of white segregationists protesting against the integration of the food counter at the cafe The group noticed he was a dishwasher and clubbed him with an ax handle When he appealed to a white officer for help Glover was told to Get out of town The incident was a defining moment in Glover s life and he became resolved that it might have been prevented had his tormentors been given proper ...
Rose C. Thevenin
college president, pastor, and educator, was born in Richmond, Virginia, and attended public schools. He received his undergraduate degree in Education from Bluefield State College in West Virginia in 1933. The following year he earned a master's degree in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. Gray began his teaching career as professor of chemistry, professor of education, principal of the demonstration schools, and field director of Extension Services at Southern University in Louisiana. In the 1930s he married Hazel Yates in Louisiana. The couple had two children, a daughter Marion and a son William Herbert Gray III.
Upon the death of Nathan White Collier, the president of Florida Normal and Industrial Institute (FNII) in 1941, Gray was appointed president of that institution in 1942 and moved his family to St Augustine Florida There he sought to improve the financial crisis of FNII which ...
F. Finley McRae
educator, was born Frank Wilbur Hale in Kansas City, Missouri, to Frank W. Hale, Sr. and Novella Banks Hale. Hale graduated from Topeka High School in Kansas in 1945. He earned an undergraduate degree at the University of Nebraska in 1950 and a Ph.D. in communication and political science at Ohio State University in 1955. In 1960 he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in English Literature at the University of London. Hale taught at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Potomac State University in West Virginia, and the Andrews University's School of Graduate Studies in Berrien Springs, Michigan.
The first African American associate dean of the Ohio State University graduate school, Hale was also OSU's second black vice‐provost and professor emeritus. Earlier in his academic career, he had presided over Oakwood College (now university) and chaired Central State University's English Department. In 1957 when only thirty years old ...
Robert L. Harris
educator, diplomat, and administrator, was one of thirteen children born to Robert and Viola Bagsby Holland in Auburn, New York. Most of the children did not survive childhood. One of his younger siblings affectionately called him “Brudder,” later shortened to “Brud,” which he was called by relatives and friends throughout his life. His father was a gardener and handyman for several families in Auburn. “Brud” Holland began to work with his father at age eight to support their poor family. He determined early in life that education was the key to success.
Holland was a stellar basketball and football player. He played four years on the varsity football team for Auburn High School and twice earned statewide honors. His high school coach years later referred to him as the best all-around athlete ever to play for Auburn. Holland entered Cornell University's College of Agriculture in 1935 ...
John Hope's mother, Mary Frances, was a freed slave and his father, James Hope, a Scot. He graduated with honors from Worcester Academy in June 1890, and received a scholarship to Brown University, where he graduated, also with honors, in 1894. He married Lugenia Burns, a social worker from Chicago; they became parents of two sons.
Hope was a teacher in Nashville at Roger Williams College, where he taught Greek, Latin, and the natural sciences from 1894 to 1898. His career reflected his belief that African Americans could achieve equality through higher learning. In 1898 Hope moved to Atlanta Baptist College, which in 1913 was renamed Morehouse College, where he was professor of classics.
In 1906 Hope became Morehouse's president. He was the only university president to join W. E. B. Du Bois's militant Niagara Movement in 1906 During his ...
C. Ellen Connally
educator and civil rights leader. The monumental contributions of the eminent historian John Hope Franklin have caused many students of African American history to confuse the historian with Franklin's namesake, the educator and civil rights leader John Hope. In 1998 Franklin described Hope as the least-known and least-understood major figure in the annals of African American history between Booker T. Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.
A contemporary of both Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois, Hope played a key role in the advancement of higher education for blacks during the early twentieth century. His career reflects the transition from white governance of black institutions of higher education to black governance of such institutions. In 1906 Hope became the first black president of the Atlanta Baptist College (later Morehouse College), and in 1929 he was unanimously selected president of the new Atlanta University Center when Morehouse and ...
educator and politician, as born in Mobile, Alabama. She was the second-youngest of twelve children born to Leroy Kennedy Sr. and Thelma McMillian. Kennedy's paternal grandparents were instrumental in the founding of the Stewart Memorial Christian Methodist Episcopal Church located in Mobile. This church played a large role in Kennedy's life; there she received her early education, was a committed worshipper, and was highly active. Kennedy went on to graduate in the top ten percent of her segregated Central High School class in Mobile in 1962.
That same year, Kennedy enrolled in college at Bishop State Junior College in Mobile, Alabama, where she received an associate's degree in 1964 Soon after Kennedy transferred to Alabama State University in Montgomery Alabama Within her second year at Alabama State she received the President s Award for her academic achievements As a junior Kennedy joined the Beta Eta chapter ...
chief (traditional ruler), economist, business leader, university administrator, and philanthropist, was born Emmanuel Noi Omaboe on 29 October 1930 in Amanokrom, Akuapem in the eastern region of Ghana. His parents were Madam Mary Opibea Awuku of the royal Asona family of Amanokrom and Mr. Peter Nortey Omaboe, a prominent goldsmith resident at Mamfe and a citizen of Osu. He was enrolled in Mamfe Presbyterian Junior School from 1936 to 1942, completed his primary education at the Suhum Presbyterian Senior School in 1945, and from 1946 to 1950 studied at Accra Academy. There, he was a peer of several students who would be future leaders of Ghana, including Peter Ala Adjetey, who went on to a career as a noted lawyer and speaker of Ghana’s parliament (2000–2004). In 1951 he entered the University College of the Gold Coast now the University of Ghana to study economics ...
Donna Tyler Hollie
educator, was born in Washington, D.C., the youngest of six children of William Ross Patterson and Mamie Brooks Patterson, educators. Like countless other African Americans, the couple had migrated North in search of an improved educational, cultural, social, and racial climate for their children. Patterson's birthplace was within three blocks of the home of Frederick Douglass, for whom he was named. Patterson was only two when his parents died of tuberculosis. In a detailed will, each child was assigned to a relative or family friend. Although the will stipulated that Patterson was to be raised by “Aunt” Julia Dorsey, he was moved several times and ultimately his oldest sister, Wilhemina assumed responsibility for him From her meager earnings as a schoolteacher she financed his tuition and room and board at the elementary school operated by what is now Huston Tillotson College in Austin Texas In ...
Sholomo B. Levy
minister, educator, and humanitarian, was born in Norfolk, Virginia, the son of Hughes Proctor, who worked at the Norfolk Navy Yard, and Velma Gladys. His parents had met as students at Norfolk Mission College, the same college attended by Velma's parents; Hughes's mother had attended Hampton Institute during Reconstruction. It was unusual for a black family to have such educated parents and grandparents so soon after slavery, and Samuel and his six siblings were raised to believe that educational attainment was natural and expected. Music and religious devotion also helped shape Samuel's childhood. His father played the violin, he played the clarinet, and the other children were each encouraged to learn an instrument. They entertained themselves at home, and they all sang in the choir of the Baptist church founded by his great-grandfather Zechariah Hughes.
As a boy Samuel shined shoes at local barbershops one ...
Raymond Pierre Hylton
college administrator, entrepreneur, and first and sixth president of Liberia, was born either in Norfolk, Portsmouth, or Petersburg, Virginia, the son of James Roberts and Amelia (maiden name unknown). A persistent rumor that his father was an unidentified white man remains no more than mere speculation. James Roberts and his wife were freed people and had seven surviving children. The family ran a boat and trading business that plied the James River. The Robertses probably lived for a while in Norfolk and later moved to Petersburg, where Joseph alternately worked for his father and in a barbershop owned by the Reverend William Nelson Colson, an African American minister and businessman. The Colson business was located at Wythe and Sycamore streets—an historical marker indicates the actual site.
By 1829 James Roberts had died leaving considerable financial assets and property in Petersburg Joseph as the eldest child ...
SaFiya D. Hoskins
attorney, educator, was born Jesse Nealand Stone Jr. in Gibsland, Louisiana, Bienville Parish, son of Jesse Nealand Stone Sr. and Ola King Stone. His father was an educator in African American schools during the period of segregation in Webster Parish, where the family moved after the birth of their son. As a boy in Louisiana, Stone had witnessed an African American man tied to a tree and whipped nearly to death by a group of white men. He attended Webster High School in Minden, Louisiana, and upon graduating enrolled at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a historically black university, where he earned his undergraduate degree. Subsequently, he enrolled at the Southern University School of Law, established in 1947, where in 1950 he was among six students in the first ever graduating class from the university s law school Also among notable graduates of the ...
attorney, and college president was born Benner Creswill Turner in Columbus, Georgia, to Dr. Edwin J. Turner and Lila Mae Benner. His father was a respected medical doctor and community leader.
As a child, Turner excelled in the Columbus public school system. Wanting his son to have the best education and a pipeline to Harvard Law School, Dr. Turner sent young Turner to Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, in 1919. During his four years at Phillips Academy, Turner excelled athletically and academically. He was a member of the varsity wrestling team where he was noted for wrestling “remarkably well” (Phillips Academy's Pot Pourri, 1923). Turner was also well known and respected for his academic excellence. One year he was voted “class grind” (the hardest worker) by his classmates. During the spring of 1923 Turner graduated from the Classical Department at Phillips Academy with honors ...
Michele Valerie Ronnick
university president, register of the U.S. Treasury, and bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, began life in Lebanon, Missouri. He was the first of two children born to Margaret Hooker Vernon (d. 1931) and Adam Vernon (1835–1916), a former slave. His sister, Essie Jean Vernon Landor (1882–1935), born more than a decade later, was a late addition to the family. His father, Adam Vernon, was born in Tennessee and had been brought by his owner, James W. Vernon, to Laclede County, Missouri. After the Civil War, Adam Vernon settled in Lebanon and worked for the Wallace Brothers Mercantile Company, which had been established by the brothers W. I., J. C., and D. C. Wallace. Adam also worked at the private home of J. C. Wallace. William matriculated at the Lincoln Institute in Jefferson City, Missouri, in 1886 and graduated in 1890 After ...
Adriel A. Hilton
educator, was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Adelia Leonard Smith, an elementary school teacher, and Frank David Smith. Wheelan graduated from St. Gerard Catholic High School of San Antonio, Texas, in 1968. In 1968 Wheelan entered Trinity University of San Antonio, Texas, and graduated in 1972 with a double major in psychology and sociology. She became the first African American at Trinity to be included in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities. It was to be the first of many milestones in a career that covered more than three decades. She went on to study at Louisiana State University and received a Master of Arts degree in Developmental/Educational Psychology in 1974. That same year, Wheelan became an associate professor at Alamo Community College District at San Antonio College. Recognizing the importance of advanced education, she left that position in 1984 to enroll in ...
Travis Boyce and Winsome Chunnu-Brayda
professor, architect, and college president, was born Miller Fulton Whittaker in Sumter, South Carolina, to Johnson Chesnut Whittaker and Page Harrison Whittaker on 30 December 1892. His father, a former cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, was at the center of a violent racial incident in early April 1880 in which he was found unconscious and bound to his bed with slashed earlobes and his hair cut in several places. Having been court-martialed and found guilty of fabricating a story (self-inflicted wounds), Whittaker was expelled from the academy. Two years later, U.S. President Chester A. Arthur overturned his court-martial; nevertheless, the expulsion was upheld. Johnson Whittaker served as a teacher at the Avery Institute in Charleston, South Carolina, and would later be admitted to the South Carolina bar where he practiced law in Sumter in 1885 Johnson Whittaker later served as ...