BLOGS

February Twenty-One...

Pointing to the Hill

Tradition and history is embedded deep within the royal roots of Prairie View A&M University. When we stand for the school’s official song we ” Point to the Hill”. The Hill in which is the highest point in the Waller County area.

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

Paul Quinn College

Paul Quinn College is a private, faith-based, four-year, liberal arts-inspired college that was founded on April 4, 1872, by a group of African Methodist Episcopal Church preachers in Austin, Texas. The school’s original purpose was to educate freed slaves and their offspring. Today, we proudly educate students of all races and socio-economic classes under the banner of our institutional ethos, WE over Me. Our mission is to provide a quality, faith-based education that addresses the academic, social, and Christian development of students.

Beginning in the fall of 2015, Paul Quinn College adopted a new student financial structure called the “New Urban College Model” which, among other characteristics, reduced student tuition and fees and provides students with the ability to graduate with less than $10,000 of student loan debt. The centerpiece of the New Urban College Model is Paul Quinn’s decision to become the country’s only urban Work College. There are currently eight work colleges in the nation. Paul Quinn is the ninth federally funded work college in the United States, the first Minority Serving Institution (“MSI”) in the Work College Consortium, and the first work college in Texas.

The vision of the Paul Quinn College Work Program is to transform ability into action and potential into achievement by encouraging all students to embrace the ideals of disciplined work, servant leadership, and initiative in preparation for lives of financial freedom, community engagement, and outstanding character.

Payne Theological Seminary

In 1844, Payne Theological Seminary opened in Wilberforce, Ohio. This institution was and remains affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Payne Theological Seminary was named after Daniel Payne, a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the first president of Wilberforce University. This institution's primary mission is to educate future ministers of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In 2005, five students graduated from the Payne Theological Seminary with the degree of Master of Divinity, About

Payne also participates with the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in the exhibit: "What does it mean to be human?" Smithsonian Payne Media

Philander Smith College

Founded in 1877, Philander Smith College is the result of the first attempt west of the Mississippi River to make education available to freedmen (former African American slaves). The forerunner of the college was Walden Seminary, named in honor of Dr. J.M. Walden, one of the originators and the first corresponding secretary of the Freedmen's Aid Society.

In 1882, Dr. G.W. Gray, president of Little Rock University, the institution for the Arkansas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, met Mrs. Adeline Smith, widow of Mr. Philander Smith of Oak Park, Ill., while soliciting funds. The late Philander Smith had been a liberal donor to Asiatic Missions and had developed an interest in the work of the church in the South. In making her gift to Dr. Gray, Mrs. Smith designated $10,500 for Walden Seminary. The trustees accepted the gift and gave it special recognition by changing the name of the struggling Walden Seminary to Philander Smith College. A new site for the school had already been purchased at Eleventh and Izard Streets. The gift made by Mrs. Smith was a significant contribution towards the construction of Budlong Hall, the first brick building on the new site.

Philander Smith College was chartered as a four-year college on March 3, 1883. The first baccalaureate degree was conferred in 1888. The first president, the Rev. Thomas Mason, resigned in 1896. He was succeeded by a member of the faculty of the college, the Rev. James Monroe Cox, professor of ancient languages. Dr. Cox retired from the presidency of the college in 1924, and was succeeded by the Rev. George Collins Taylor, a graduate of the college. Dr. Taylor served as president from 1924 to 1936.

Prairie View A&M University

Prairie View A&M University, the first state supported College in Texas for African Americans, was established during the Reconstruction Period after the Civil War. This was an historical period in which political and economic special interest groups were able to aggressively use the Federal Government to establish public policy, in an attempt to “alter or reshape the cultural milieu of the vanquished southern states”. The University had its beginnings in the Texas Constitution of 1876, which, in separate articles, established an “Agricultural and Mechanical College” and pledged that “Separate schools shall be provided for the white and colored children, and impartial provisions shall be made for both.” As a consequence of these constitutional provisions, the Fifteenth Legislature established “Alta Vista Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas for Colored Youth” on August 14,1876.

The Board of Directors purchased the lands of the Alta Vista Plantation (1388 acres), from Mrs. Helen Marr Kirby, the widow of the late Col. Jared Ellison Kirby, for the establishment of the State Agriculture & Mechanical College of Texas for Colored Youth. The College was named “Alta Vista Agriculture & Mechanical College for Colored Youth”. The A&M Board of Directors was authorized to appoint a President of A&M College and Alta Vista College with an assigned principal station at Alta Vista to administer the college’s day to day affairs. Confederate President Jefferson Davis recommended Mr. Thomas S. Gathright of Mississippi, also from Mississippi and he brought Mr. L.W. Minor, of Mississippi to serve as Principal. Eight young African American men, the first of their race to enroll in a state-supported college in Texas, began their studies on March 11, 1878.
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