|Written by Rev. Nita Byrd, University Chaplain|
The patron Saint of Saint Augustine’s University is Augustine of Hippo. Saint Augustine was born on November 13, 354 CE in Thagaste, Numidia, a province in North Africa which is present day Algeria. Source: History
Topics: African Americans, Civil Rights, Education, Human Rights, Women's Rights
Saint Augustine's University
Saint Augustine’s University was chartered as Saint Augustine Normal School and Collegiate Institute on July 19, 1867, by the Reverend J. Brinton Smith, D.D., secretary of the Freedman’s Commission of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and the Right Reverend Thomas Atkinson, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina. Bishop Atkinson became the first president of the Board of Trustees and Dr. Smith was the first principal. The new school opened its doors for instruction on January 13, 1868.
In 1893, the School’s name changed from Saint Augustine Normal School to Saint Augustine’s School. In 1919, the name changed to Saint Augustine’s Junior College, the first year in which postsecondary instruction was offered. The School became a four-year institution in 1927. In 1928, the institution was renamed Saint Augustine’s College. Baccalaureate degrees were first awarded in 1931.
The College further extended its mission by establishing St. Agnes Hospital and Training School for Nurses to provide medical care for and by African Americans. It was the first nursing school in the state of North Carolina for African-American students, and served as the only hospital to served African Americans until 1960. One most famous patients to be admitted to St. Agnes was Jack Johnson, the first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion. Johnson was admitted following an accident that ultimately led to his death in 1946.
Saint Philip's College
St. Philip's College, founded in 1898, is a comprehensive public community college whose mission is to empower our diverse student population through educational achievement and career readiness. As a Historically Black College and Hispanic Serving Institution, St. Philip's College is a vital facet of the community, responding to the needs of a population rich in ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic diversity.
Stillman College, authorized by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States in 1875, held its first classes in 1876 and was chartered as a legal corporation by the State of Alabama in 1895. At that time, the name was changed from Tuscaloosa Institute to Stillman Institute. The Institute was a concept initiated by the Reverend Dr. Charles Allen Stillman, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Tuscaloosa. The mandate for the Institution expanded over the years and it acquired its present campus tract of over 100 acres.
Stillman College is a liberal arts institution with a historical and formal affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It is committed to fostering academic excellence, to providing opportunities for diverse populations, and to maintaining a strong tradition of preparing students for leadership and service by fostering experiential learning and community engagement designed to equip and empower Stillman’s students and its constituents.
The history of Talladega College began on November 20, 1865 when two former slaves, William Savery and Thomas Tarrant, both of Talladega, met in convention with a group of new freedmen in Mobile, Alabama. From this meeting came the commitment: "...We regard the education of our children and youths as vital to the preservation of our liberties, and true religion as the foundation of all real virtue, and shall use our utmost endeavors to promote these blessings in our common country."
With this as their pledge, Savery and Tarrant, aided by General Wager Swayne of the Freedmen's Bureau, began in earnest to provide a school for the children of former slaves of the community. Their leadership resulted in the construction of a one-room schoolhouse, using lumber salvaged from an abandoned carpenter's shop. The school overflowed with pupils from its opening, and soon it was necessary to move into larger quarters.
Meanwhile, the nearby Baptist Academy was about to be sold under mortgage default. This building had been built in 1852-53 with the help of slaves including Savery and Tarrant. A speedy plea for its purchase was sent to General Swayne. General Swayne then persuaded the American Missionary Association to buy the building and 20 acres of land for $23,000. The grateful parents renamed the building Swayne School, and it opened in November of 1867 with about 140 pupils. Thus, a building constructed with slave labor for white students became the home of the state's first private, liberal arts college dedicated to servicing the educational needs of blacks.
Tennessee State University
FOUNDED IN 1912
Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University (TSU) is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant institution. Our Nashville home offers two locations—the 500-acre main campus nestles in a beautiful residential neighborhood along the Cumberland River, and the downtown Avon Williams campus sits near the center of Nashville’s business and government district.
AGRICULTURAL AND INDUSTRIAL NORMAL SCHOOL
In 1909, the Tennessee State General Assembly created three normal schools, including the Agricultural and Industrial Normal School, which would grow to become TSU. The first 247 students began their academic careers on June 19, 1912, and William Jasper Hale served as head of the school. Students, faculty, and staff worked together as a family to keep the institution operating, whether the activity demanded clearing rocks, harvesting crops, or carrying chairs from class to class.
The College’s history states that in the Spring of 1894, Texas College was founded by a group of ministers affiliated with the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church. The founding represented the start of the educational process for a group of disenfranchised individuals in the area of east Texas, City of Tyler.
The Charter as originally issued July 1, 1907, indicates that the name of the corporation was established as “Texas College,” with the purpose of an educational institution designed to operate under the supervision care and ownership of the CME Church in America. The exclusive educational direction was to include the education of youths, male and female, in all branches of a literary, scientific and classical education wherein [all] shall be taught theology, normal training of teachers, music, commercial and industrial training, and agricultural and mechanical sciences.
On June 12, 1909, the name of the college was changed from Texas College to Phillips University. The noted change was associated with Bishop Henry Phillips, as a result of his leadership and educational interests for mankind. The name change was short lived and reportedly lasted until actions for a name reversal occurred in 1910 at the Third Annual Conference of the church. In May 1912, the college was officially renamed Texas College.