The Unique History Of Alabama State University — страница 2

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aggressive and stern man. They knew that he would be able to help the institution to advance to greater heights. Paterson, along with a few students, showed his aggressiveness by partaking in gunfight with the Klu Klux Klan when they were trying to set the school buildings on fire. Paterson’s aggressive attitude brought social turmoil to the Marion community. Therefore, to protect the safety of the students attending Lincoln Normal School, Paterson relocated the institution. The school was relocated to Montgomery, Alabama in 1887, and renamed Alabama Colored People’s University. Unfortunately, the school loss its state financial support the same year. In 1889, the school was renamed Normal School for Colored Students, and re-gained financial assistance from the state. The

school ran thirty-three years on its original plan as a high school teachers-training institution. The school had its first graduating class in 1890. Sadly, William Burn Paterson died in 1915. The first African American teacher, John William Beverly, became the third president in 1915. Beverly organized and established the school as a four-year institution with the same plan of being a high school teachers-training institution. Beverly also advanced the state of the institution by purchasing additional land to expand the campus. The first dormitory and faculty-dining hall was constructed in 1918. John William Beverly tenure as president ended in 1920. George W. Trenholm seceded Beverly as president. 1920 was George W. Trenholm’s first year as president, and Alabama State

College Laboratory High School had its first graduating class. Trenholm’s most important contribution to the institution was in that same year. Trenholm’s addition of the Junior College Program, which comprised two years beyond high school, made the institution a standard “Normal School”. After serving a five-year term, Trenholm’s son, Harper Council Trenholm took over the position as president. At the age of twenty-five, H.C. Trenholm became the institution’s youngest president. H.C. Trenholm elevated the Junior College status of the school to a four-year institution of higher learning in 1928. Due to the new educational status of the school, the name was changed to Alabama State Teachers College in 1929. In 1931, the first graduation for the four-year college

curriculum was held. H.C. Trenholm helped the college to advance even further in 1940 by instituting the college’s first graduate program. The first graduate program was in 1943. The college once again was renamed under H.C. Trenholm’s tenure as president to Alabama State College for Negroes in 1948. H.C. Trenholm relinquished the position of president in 1962. Levi Watkins was appointed as the sixth president of Alabama State College for Negroes in 1962. That same year, under Watkins’ supervision, the college began to offer athletic scholarships. Watkins served as president during a socially turbulent time in the south. The civil rights movement was in full swing in Watkins’ first year as president. The students at Alabama State College for Negroes were vital members in

the civil rights movement. Watkins continued to push the college forward while participating in the movement himself. Watkins was an instrumental factor in the accreditation of the college in 1966 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In 1969, he approved the proposal to change the name of the college from Alabama State College for Negroes to Alabama State University. A few years later, in 1975, the administrative control of the university changed from the State Board of Education to the Alabama State Board of Trustees. Watkins’ last great contribution to the university while serving as president was the development and commencement of University College in 1975. Robert L. Randolph, Leon Howard, Clifford C. Baker, and William H. Harris, respectively were the

following presidents of Alabama State University. These presidents also made very tremendous contributions to present-day Alabama State University. However, if it were not for the hard work of Peyton Finley, George N. Card, William B. Paterson, John W. Beverly, G.W. Trenholm, H.C. Trenholm, and Levi Watkins, the university would not be as prominent as it is today. The diligent effort of these presidents to make this university a success has not been overlooked. Buildings on the campus today have been named in their honor. Finley Hall was named after the university’s founder, Peyton Finley. The Levi Watkins Learning Center was named after the sixth president that approved the name of Alabama State University, Levi Watkins. Card Hall was named after university’s first