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February Seven...

Claflin University students in a group

Topics: African Americans, Civil Rights, Education, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Claflin University

Claflin University, founded in 1869, was named in honor of Lee Claflin, a prominent Methodist layman of Boston, and his son William Claflin, the governor of Massachusetts. Ardent abolitionists, these men harbored a great concern for higher education and the uplift of African-Americans.

Just one year earlier in July 1868, the Rev. Timothy Willard Lewis, the first missionary sent by the Methodist Church to the emancipated people of South Carolina, and Dr. Alonzo Webster, a prominent Methodist minister and teacher at the Baker Theological Institute in Charleston, South Carolina, had acquired the property of the old Orangeburg Female Institute for $5,000. With the substantial financial support of Lee and William Claflin, Lewis and Webster secured the foundation of what would become Claflin University. More at the PDF: The World Needs Visionaries.

Clark Atlanta University

Atlanta University, founded in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, with subsequent assistance from the Freedman's Bureau, was, before consolidation, the nation's oldest graduate institution serving a predominantly African-American student body. By the late 1870s, Atlanta University had begun granting bachelor's degrees and supplying black teachers and librarians to public schools across the South. In 1929-1930, the institution began offering graduate education exclusively in various liberal arts areas, and in the social and natural sciences. It gradually added professional programs in social work, library science and business administration. The institution during this period associated with Spelman and Morehouse colleges in a university plan known as the Atlanta University System. The campus was moved to its present site, and the modern organization of the Atlanta University Center emerged.

The story of the Atlanta University Center over the next 20 years includes significant developments. The schools of library science, education and business administration were established in 1941, 1944 and 1946, respectively. The Atlanta School of Social Work, long associated with the University, gave up its charter in 1947, to officially become part of the University. One of the founding faculty in the School of Social Work was W.E.B. Du Bois, who wrote his most influential works during the 23 years he spent at Atlanta University, from 1897-1910 on the faculty of the history and economics departments, and later, from 1934-1944 as chair of the sociology department.

Clark College was founded in 1869 as Clark University by the Freedmen's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which later would become the United Methodist Church. The University today celebrates its historic bond with the denomination. Clark University was named for Bishop Davis W. Clark, who was the first president of the Freedmen's Aid Society and became bishop in 1864. The first Clark College class was housed in a sparsely furnished room in Clark Chapel, a Methodist Episcopal Church in Atlanta's Summer Hill section. In 1871, the school relocated to a newly purchased property at Whitehall and McDaniel streets. In 1877, the school was chartered as Clark University.

Clinton College

Clinton College was one of many schools established by the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church during Reconstruction years, to help eradicate illiteracy among freedmen. Clinton is the oldest institution of higher education in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The College has operated continuously for 120 years. In 1894, Presiding Elder Nero A. Crockett and Rev. W.M. Robinson founded Clinton Institute and named it for Bishop Caleb Isom Clinton, the Palmetto Conference presiding bishop at the time.

Incorporated as Clinton Normal and Industrial Institute on June 22, 1909, the school was authorized to grant state teacher certificates. By the late 1940’s, the College attracted 225 students per year and owned approximately 19 acres, several buildings, and equipment valued at several million dollars. Under Dr. Sallie V. Moreland, who retired in 1994 after 47 years of stellar service, the school charter was amended to create Clinton Junior College. When Dr. Cynthia L. McCullough Russell assumed leadership, the school prepared for accreditation, attained during the tenure of Dr. Elaine Johnson Copeland.

May 2013, the Transnational Association for Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) approved the College to offer two four-year programs; a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In view of the four-year programs, the school’s name was changed from Clinton Junior College, to Clinton College.

In keeping with its 120 year tradition, Clinton College offers an academic environment that not only promotes intellectual growth, but also fosters positive moral, ethical, and spiritual values. The school has a proud heritage as a Christian College, striving to prepare men and women to be lifelong learners, active participating citizens, and good stewards of society.

Coahoma Community College

Coahoma County Agricultural High School was established in 1924 becoming the first agricultural high school in Mississippi for Negroes under the existing "separate but equal" doctrine. The junior college curriculum was added in 1949, and the name of the institution was changed to Coahoma Junior College and Agricultural High School.

During the first two years (1949-1950), the junior college program was conducted by one full-­time college director/teacher and a sufficient number of part-time teachers from the high school division. A full-time dean and college faculty were employed in the third year of operation.

During the first year of operation (1949), Coahoma Junior College was supported entirely by county funds. In 1950, Coahoma Junior College became the first educational institution for Negroes to be included in Mississippi's system of public junior colleges and to be eligible to share in funds appropriated by the Mississippi Legislature for the support of public junior colleges. Other counties also began to support the junior college, including Bolivar, Quitman and Sunflower.

In 1965, Coahoma Junior College opened its doors to all students regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or disability.
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