Talladega College

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Talladega College
Talladega College Savery Library.JPG
Savery Library
Latin: Collegium Talladegense
Motto An Education of Distinction
Type Private, HBCU
Established 1867
Affiliation United Church of Christ
President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins
Students 1,500
Location Talladega, Alabama, United States
33°25′56″N 86°6′47″W / 33.43222°N 86.11306°W / 33.43222; -86.11306Coordinates: 33°25′56″N 86°6′47″W / 33.43222°N 86.11306°W / 33.43222; -86.11306
Campus Rural 50 acres (20.2 ha) main campus
Colors Crimson and blue
         
Nickname Dear Ole' Dega, Dega, TC
Affiliations UNCF
Mascot Tornadoes
Website www.talladega.edu

Talladega College, located in Talladega, Alabama, is a private, liberal arts college. It is Alabama's oldest private historically black college. As of 2009, it received full SACS accreditation.[1]

History[edit]

The history of Talladega College began on November 20, 1865, when three former slaves William Savery, Thomas Tarrant, and Ambrose Headen all 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 youth 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, Tarrant, and Headen 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 school house 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 Coosa River Valley 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, Tarrant, and Headen. A speedy plea was sent to General Swayne for its purchase. General Swayne in turn persuaded the American Missionary Association to buy the building and some 20 acres (81,000 m2) of land for $23,000.

The grateful parents renamed the building Swayne School and it opened in November 1867 with about 140 pupils. A building constructed before the war with slave labor for white students became the home of the state's first college dedicated to serving the educational needs of blacks. In 1869, Swayne School was issued a charter as Talladega College by the Judge of Probate of Talladega County.

The former Baptist Academy building, now known as Swayne Hall, has remained in service as the symbol and spirit of the beginning of the college.

Campus[edit]

Built in 1857, Swayne Hall is the oldest building on campus. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on December 2, 1974.

Talladega College is located on the outskirts of the city of Talladega. The campus consists of 50 acres (200,000 m2) with 17 primary buildings. 32 campus buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Talladega College Historic District.[2] The Savery Library, completed in 1939, was built to replace a 1907 structure built with a donation from Andrew Carnegie. The library houses hundreds of thousands of serials, a Record Room, a fully equipped computer laboratory, a unique Archives Room, and the historic Amistad murals painted by Hale Woodruff. Embedded in the floor of the library is a mural of La Amistad - which school tradition says must never be stepped upon - referring to the mutiny by slaves, who took control of that ship and later won their freedom in a United States court, is depicted upon the surrounding walls. The mezzanine floor of the library houses the Galangue Room. This room contains an extensive collection of Angolan and Nigerian artifacts.

Andrews Hall, built in 1910, houses the Music Department and the Education Department. It is named for George Whitfield Andrews, D.D., Dean of the Theological Department from 1875 to 1908.

Arthur D. Shores Hall, constructed in 1974, is named for the late attorney Arthur D. Shores, Class of 1927, who served for many years as a member and chairman of the College Board of Trustees.

De Forest Chapel was built in 1903 in commemoration of the life and service of the Rev. Henry Swift De Forest, D.D., President of the College from 1879 to 1896. DeForest Chapel was renovated in 1996 and rededicated November 1996. De Forest was the father of inventor Lee De Forest.

Fanning Refectory was built in 1928 from a legacy of Dr. David H. Fanning of Worcester, Massachusetts. The building contains the student and faculty dining rooms.

Juliette Derricotte House, built in 1940-41, was the gift of the Harkness Foundation and named for Juliette Derricotte, Class of 1918, who at the time of her death in 1932 was a member of the Board of Trustees. Formerly a staff residence and guest house, it was converted into a women's honors dormitory in 1988.

Silsby Science Hall, constructed in 1926, was named for Dr. E. C. Silsby,[3] who was a member of the college faculty for 37 years. The building was a gift of the General Education Board and friends and alumni of the college. It contains the laboratories and classrooms for the Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Athletics[edit]

Talladega College teams, nicknamed athletically as the Tornadoes, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II level, primarily competing in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, golf and soccer, while women's sports include basketball, softball and volleyball.

Marching band[edit]

The Talladega College Tornado Marching Band (the Great Tornado) was established in 2012. The marching band is the largest organization on campus, with over 200 members. The band is led by five drum majors and is accompanied by a dance line called the Dega Diamonds. The marching band made their debut appearance at the annual Honda Battle of the Bands in 2015. The band performed at Donald Trump's inauguration on January 20, 2017[4]

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Jewel Plummer Cobb 1947 biologist, cancer researcher, college dean, California State University, Fullerton president
George Williamson Crawford lawyer, city official, and judge in New Haven, Connecticut [5]
Nikky Finney author who won the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry, Head Off & Split
Dr. Theodore K. Lawless dermatologist, medical researcher, and philanthropist
Wynona Lipman ~1944 first African American woman elected to the New Jersey Senate
Dr. Herman H. Long 1935 educator who served as president of Talladega College and president of the United Negro College Fund
Gladys McCoy ~1958 first African American elected to public office in Oregon
William Pickens 1902 orator, educator, journalist, and essayist; wrote two autobiographies, The Heir of Slaves in 1911 and Bursting Bonds in 1923
Hank Sanders 1967 civil rights attorney and current Alabama State Senator
Arthur Shores ~1934 civil rights attorney who was considered Alabama's drum major for justice
Rev. Dr. Paul Smith 1957 first African American minister at the historic First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, New York; multicultural consultant, civil rights activist, educator, author
Margaret Bush Wilson 1939 attorney, civil rights advocate, first African American woman to Chair National NAACP Board of Directors (1975-1983)

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ "TC gets full SACS accreditation". The Daily Home. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  2. ^ Bowman, Camille; Melanie A. Betz (March 1, 1990). "Talladega College Historic District" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. National Park Service. Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2014.  See also: "Accompanying photos" (PDF). Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2014. 
  3. ^ Dr. Edwin C. Silsby at Find A Grave
  4. ^ Lawler, Nicola (April 26, 2012). "The New Talladega College Marching Band". Talladega College (Press release). Retrieved January 4, 2017. 
  5. ^ "George Crawford Black Bar Association". Retrieved 8 January 2013. 

External links[edit]