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Charles Rosenberg

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 ...

Article

Valerie A. Gray

college president, educator, and minister, was born Jared Maurice Arter in Jefferson County, West Virginia, the son of Jeremiah Arter, a slave and a miller by trade, and Hannah Frances Stephenson, a slave. When Arter was seven years old his father died in an accident at the mill. The plantation on which the family lived, the Little plantation, was located four miles from Harpers Ferry. In 1859 Arter witnessed the hanging of four men who participated in John Brown's raid at that city. This childhood memory sparked in him the desire to fight for equality; the schoolroom would be his battleground.

As a teenager Arter applied for a position as a bellboy for which he would have to pass a test demonstrating his ability to read numbers With help from his brother in law he mastered the skill sufficiently in one evening to pass the test This accomplishment ...

Article

William E. Ward

Horace Mann Bond was born in Nashville, Tennessee, to Jane Bond and James Bond, an educator and Methodist minister. Bond was a precocious child, attending high school at nine years old and Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), an African American liberal arts college, at age fourteen. After graduating from Lincoln in 1923, Bond attended the University of Chicago, earning a Ph.D. in education in 1936.

A number of publications in the early 1930s helped Bond establish his scholarly reputation. These included The Education of the Negro in the American Social Order (1934), in which he linked poor education among blacks to their inferior social and economic status, and his dissertation, Negro Education in Alabama: A Study of Cotton and Steel (1939), in which he argued that Reconstruction represented a positive step for blacks The latter work directly contradicted the scholarship of the ...

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Wayne J. Urban

college professor and administrator, was born in Nashville, Tennessee, the son of James Bond, a Congregationalist minister, and Jane Alice Browne, a graduate of Oberlin College and a schoolteacher. Horace Bond's paternal grandmother, Jane Arthur Bond, was a slave who raised two sons by herself. These two sons, Bond's father and his uncle, Henry, both earned college degrees and embarked on professional careers. Three of Bond's four siblings earned college degrees, and his cousins on his father's side also distinguished themselves academically. This family achievement was important to Horace Bond, because it exemplified the way in which numerous scholars of his generation were nurtured within the African American community. He published a book on the family origins of African American scholars near the end of his life, Black American Scholars: A Study of Their Beginnings (1972).

Bond was an intellectually precocious child He was ...

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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 ...

Article

Kecia Brown

college president, minister, journalist, and agriculturalist, was born a slave in Portland, Arkansas, to Albert Clark Book and Mary Punsard. Booker was orphaned at three years of age; his mother died when he was one year old and his father was whipped to death two years later, having been found guilty of teaching others how to read. At the end of the Civil War Booker's grandmother sent him to a school established to educate freed slaves.

Booker excelled in school By the time he was seventeen he had earned the right to open his own subscription school subscription schools were established during a time before the wide availability of public schools Parents paid a monthly fee for their children to attend these institutions Booker saved his money from teaching in order to attend college He attended Branch Normal School later the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in Pine ...

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Debbie Maudlin Cottrell

educator, was born in Farmville, Virginia, the daughter of Tazewell Branch, a former slave who served in the Virginia legislature and worked as a shoemaker and tax collector, and Harriett Lacey, a domestic worker. Although she learned to read at home, Branch began her quest for formal education when she was thirteen. Because her mother did laundry for students and teachers at State College in Farmville, Branch often made trips to the school to pick up or deliver clothes; in time she herself became a maid in the college library. Exposed for the first time to a wide variety of books and knowledge, she was determined to obtain her own education. Within a few years she had earned a high school diploma from the normal school of Virginia State College, a land-grant college for black students in Petersburg, where she also took teacher education classes.

Eager to share her ...

Article

Philip Alexander

physicist, educator, and academic administrator, was born in Pocahontas, Virginia, the son of Harry P. Branson, a coal miner, and Gertrude Brown. In 1928, after several years at his local elementary school, Herman enrolled at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., one of the nation's preeminent black secondary schools. He was encouraged in this move by a young black physician, William Henry Welch, who practiced in Pocahontas and who rented lodgings from young Branson's grandmother.

At Dunbar, Branson was introduced to studies in Latin, advanced mathematics, and other disciplines to which he would not have been exposed in his local high school. After graduating as valedictorian in 1932 he enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh with a view to studying medicine partly because his great uncle had been trained as a physician there Branson completed the premedical program in two years and still found time ...

Article

Peter C. Murray

college president and lay Methodist Church leader, was born James Phillip Brawley in Lockhart, Texas, the son of Thomas H. Brawley and Emma Storey. Despite being born in the Jim Crow era, Brawley received a college education, graduating from Samuel Houston College in 1920. He did graduate work at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, where he received his MA in Religious Education in 1925 and his PhD in Education in 1941.

Brawley took his first teaching position in 1922 at Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, a school founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church's Freedmen's Aid Society following the Civil War. He moved from Rust College to Clark College in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1925 where he taught education and religious education Clark College was another Freedmen s Aid Society school that had traditionally emphasized the training of ministers and teachers Brawley became the college ...

Article

Boyd Childress

white soldier, minister, educator, and administrator. Horace Bumstead was a pivotal figure in the education of African Americans at the turn of the twentieth century. Born in Boston to well-to-do parents, Bumstead was educated at Boston Latin School and Yale, from which he graduated in 1863. He was commissioned as a major during the Civil War and commanded black troops serving in the Richmond and Petersburg campaigns in 1864 and 1865. After the war Bumstead graduated from Andover (Massachusetts) Theological Seminary in 1870, studied in Europe, married in 1872, and served a Congregationalist church in Minneapolis. In 1875 he joined his Yale classmate Edmond Asa Ware at Atlanta University to teach natural science and Latin; he was named interim president in 1886 and president in 1888.

Bumstead an advocate of industrial instruction as well as of traditional higher education for blacks ...

Article

Carroll L. Miller

Ambrose Caliver was born in Saltsville, Virginia, on February 25, 1894, the son of Ambrose and Cora (Saunders) Caliver. His education in the public schools of Virginia and of Knoxville, Tennessee, was followed by collegiate work at Knoxville College, from which he received a B.A. degree in 1915. Five years later, the University of Wisconsin awarded him an M.A. degree, and in 1930 he received a Ph.D. degree from Columbia University.

His professional experience began in 1916, when he became a high school principal in Rockwood, Tennessee, and an assistant principal of Douglass High School in El Paso, Texas. His first appointment in higher education came in 1917 at Fisk University At Fisk Caliver was asked to develop a program of training in manual arts an area in which he had a special interest In his opinion the complete education of the individual involved ...

Article

Lee Jr. Williams

educator, college administrator, and civil servant, was born in Saltville, Virginia, the youngest child of Ambrose Caliver Sr. Little is known about his parents, but very early in his life he and his two siblings moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, where they were raised by an aunt, Louisa Bolden. Bolden, a widowed cook who took in boarders to make ends meet, allowed Caliver to accept a job at a very young age. According to one account, the young Caliver was working in a coal mine by the time of his eighth birthday. Early employment, however, did not prevent him from attending school regularly. After receiving an education from Knoxville's public school system, he enrolled at Knoxville College, where he obtained his BA in 1915. He eventually earned an MA from the University of Wisconsin (1920) and a PhD from Columbia University (1930).

After graduating from ...

Article

Charles Rosenberg

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 ...

Article

Huel D. Perkins

Joseph Samuel Clark was born in Bienville Parish near Sparta, Louisiana, the son of Phillip and Jane Clark. His early schooling occurred near his birthplace, through the assistance of whites, while he maintained his share of the family responsibilities. Between 1891 and 1895, Clark studied in the preparatory department of Coleman College, Gibsland, Louisiana, working his way through school. He matriculated at Bishop College in Marshall, Texas, but received no degree. From 1896 to 1901 he attended Leland College in New Orleans, Louisiana, from which he received a B.A. degree in 1901. Additional studies resulted in an M.A. from Selma University in Alabama (1913) and honorary Ph.D. degrees from Leland College, Louisiana, (1914) and Arkansas Baptist College (1921). He did postgraduate study at Harvard University, in Massachusetts, and the University of Chicago, in Illinois.

Clark involved himself in several organizations ...

Article

Jennifer Jensen Wallach

educator and college president. Johnnetta Betsch was born in Jacksonville, Florida, into a middle-class family. A precocious learner, she entered Fisk University at the age of fifteen, transferred to Oberlin College the next year, and earned a degree in anthropology in 1957. Continuing her study of anthropology, she then attended Northwestern University, earning an MA in 1959 and a PhD in 1967. In 1960 Betsch married Robert Cole, a white economist whom she met at Northwestern; they had three sons and divorced in 1982. In 1988 she married Arthur J. Robinson Jr.

Cole held teaching positions at Washington State University, at the University of California at Los Angeles, and at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she remained for thirteen years, 1970 to 1983, both as a professor and later as an associate provost She also taught at Hunter College of the City University ...

Article

Lisa E. Rivo

anthropologist, educator, and college president, was born Johnnetta Betsch in Jacksonville, Florida, the second of three children to Mary Frances Lewis, an English teacher, and John Thomas Betsch Sr., an insurance executive. Johnnetta grew up in one of Florida's most prominent African American families; her great-grandfather, Abraham Lincoln Lewis, co-founded the Afro-American Life Insurance Company, Florida's first insurance company. An ambitious and civic-minded businessman, Lewis established several black institutions, including the colored branch of the public library, the Lincoln Golf and Country Club, and the seaside resort known as American Beach, the only beach allowing blacks in north Florida. Johnnetta's childhood was shaped by competing influences: her supportive family and community, and the racist attitudes and institutions of the Jim Crow South. Educated in segregated public and private schools, Johnnetta credits the influence of her teachers and her family friend Mary McLeod Bethune with encouraging her ...

Article

Beverly Guy-Sheftall

Johnnetta Betsch Cole was the seventh president of Spelman College (1987-1997), the oldest college for black women in the United States. Under her leadership, Spelman became the first historically black college or university to receive top ratings by U.S. News & World Report and Money magazine. During her presidency she raised over $113 million in the Capital Campaign Fund, which was the largest sum ever raised by a historically black college or university. After leaving the Spelman presidency in 1997, she joined the faculty at Emory University, where she was professor of anthropology, women’s studies, and African American studies for four years. She also has the distinction of being the only black woman to have been president of the only two historically black colleges for women. In July 2002 she was appointed president of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina, becoming its fourteenth president.

Cole ...

Article

Rose C. Thevenin

college president and educator, was born in Augusta, Georgia, to Madison Jordan Collier and Frances (Tyler) Collier. He attended Georgia public schools and worked with his father as a brick mason. Graduating from Ware High School in 1887, he first found work as an apprentice at the Georgia Baptist Printing Office. In 1890 Collier enrolled at Atlanta University, where he met his lifelong friend and college roommate, James Weldon Johnson. Upon graduating from Atlanta University with honors in 1894, Collier was offered a summer teaching position at the Georgia State Industrial College. Instead, he accepted a position as principal and chair of ancient languages at Florida Baptist Academy. Rooted in the Baptist tradition, Florida Baptist was founded in 1892 by the Reverend Matthew Gilbert, the Reverend J. T. Brown, and Sarah Blocker in Jacksonville, Florida. By 1896 the academy s financial and administrative ...

Article

Alexander J. Chenault

was born in Bedford Hills, New York, to Miss Lula F. Cook. She attended school in the suburbs of New York City and then went south for college. Mattie graduated from Virginia State College (now Virginia State University) and received her master's degree in education from Teachers College of Columbia University.

She married Wilbur Cook and had a son, Louis, and daughter, Allyson. Like many black women of her day, Cook chose to become a teacher. She worked first as a New York City Public School teacher and later as a curriculum staffer. Following the birth of her two children, she began working in early childhood education. She worked in Harlem, as the director of the Addie Mae Collins Day Care Center. The center was named after Addie Mae Collins one of the four young children killed by a terrorist bomb at the 16th Baptist Street Church ...

Article

Eric Gardner

educator and journalist, was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, the son of William Corbin and Susan, both Virginia-born former slaves. Corbin's parents eventually settled in Cincinnati to raise their family of twelve children. Corbin attended school sporadically because of economic circumstances (one of his classmates was John Mercer Langston), though his family emphasized education. In the late 1840s Corbin and his older sister Elizabeth moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where their father had family. Both lived with the Reverend Henry Adams, the pastor of the black First Baptist Church. Though the 1850 census takers listed him as a cook, Corbin taught at least some of the time in a school supported by Adams.

Thirsty for further education, Corbin traveled north to Ohio University, where he earned a BA in 1853 and an MA in 1856 He settled in Cincinnati worked as a bank messenger and steward gained prominence ...