Fisk University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Fisk University
Fisk 1001.jpg
Fisk University's Emblem
MottoHer sons and daughters are forever on the altar[1]
Established1866
TypePrivate, HBCU
Religious affiliationUnited Church of Christ (historically related)
ChairmanRobert W. Norton
PresidentH. James Williams[2]
ProvostPrincilla Evans Morris
Academic staff70
Students800
LocationNashville, Tennessee,
United States

36°10′08″N 86°48′17″W / 36.1688°N 86.8047°W / 36.1688; -86.8047Coordinates: 36°10′08″N 86°48′17″W / 36.1688°N 86.8047°W / 36.1688; -86.8047
CampusUrban, 40 acres (16 ha)
Former namesThe Fisk Freed Colored School
ColoursGold and Blue
         Blue and Gold
NicknameBulldogs
MascotThe Fisk Bulldog
AffiliationsUnited Negro College Fund, SACS
Websitewww.fisk.edu
FiskUniversityLogo.png
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Fisk University
Fisk 1001.jpg
Fisk University's Emblem
MottoHer sons and daughters are forever on the altar[1]
Established1866
TypePrivate, HBCU
Religious affiliationUnited Church of Christ (historically related)
ChairmanRobert W. Norton
PresidentH. James Williams[2]
ProvostPrincilla Evans Morris
Academic staff70
Students800
LocationNashville, Tennessee,
United States

36°10′08″N 86°48′17″W / 36.1688°N 86.8047°W / 36.1688; -86.8047Coordinates: 36°10′08″N 86°48′17″W / 36.1688°N 86.8047°W / 36.1688; -86.8047
CampusUrban, 40 acres (16 ha)
Former namesThe Fisk Freed Colored School
ColoursGold and Blue
         Blue and Gold
NicknameBulldogs
MascotThe Fisk Bulldog
AffiliationsUnited Negro College Fund, SACS
Websitewww.fisk.edu
FiskUniversityLogo.png

Fisk University is a historically black university founded in 1866 in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. The 40-acre (160,000 m2) campus is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1930, Fisk was the first African-American institution to gain accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditations for specialized programs quickly followed.

History[edit]

University namesake Clinton B. Fisk
A class c. 1900

In 1866, six months after the end of the American Civil War, leaders of the northern American Missionary Association (AMA) – John Ogden, Reverend Erastus Milo Cravath, field secretary; and Reverend Edward Parmelee Smith – founded the Fisk Free Colored School, for the education of freedmen. AMA support meant the organization tried to use its sources across the country to aid education for freedmen. Enrollment jumped from 200 to 900 in the first several months of the school, indicating freedmen's strong desire for education, with ages of students ranging from seven to seventy. The school was named in honor of General Clinton B. Fisk of the Tennessee Freedmen's Bureau, who made unused barracks available to the school, as well as establishing the first free schools for white and black children in Tennessee. In addition, he endowed Fisk with a total of $30,000.[3] The American Missionary Association's work was supported by the United Church of Christ, which retains an affiliation with the university.[4] Fisk opened to classes on January 9, 1866.[5]

With Tennessee's passage of legislation to support public education, leaders saw a need for training teachers, and Fisk University was incorporated as a normal school for college training in August 1867.[citation needed] Cravath organized the College Department and the Mozart Society, the first musical organization in Tennessee. Rising enrollment added to the needs of the university. In 1870 Adam Knight Spence became principal of the Fisk Normal School. To raise money for the school's education initiatives, his wife Catherine Mackie Spence traveled throughout the United States to set up mission Sunday schools in support of Fisk students, organizing endowments through the AMA.[6] With a strong interest in religion and the arts, Adam Spence supported the start of a student choir. In 1871 the student choir went on a fund-raising tour in Europe; they were the start of the Fisk Jubilee Singers. They toured to raise funds to build the first building for the education of freedmen. They raised nearly $50,000 and funded construction of the renowned Jubilee Hall, now a designated National Historic Landmark.[7] When the American Missionary Association declined to assume the financial responsibility of the Jubilee Singers, Professor George L. White, Treasurer of the University, took the responsibility upon himself and started North in 1871 with his troupe. On April 12, 1873, the Jubilee Singers sailed for England where they sang before a fashionable audience in the presence of the Queen, who expressed her gratification at the performance.[5]

During the 1880s Fisk had an active building program, as well as expanding its curriculum offerings. By the turn of the 20th century, it added black teachers and staff to the university, and a second generation of free blacks entered classes.[7]

In 1947 Fisk heralded its first African-American president with the arrival of Charles Spurgeon Johnson. Johnson was a premier sociologist, a scholar who had been the editor of Opportunity magazine, a noted periodical of the Harlem Renaissance.

In 1952, Fisk was the first predominantly black college to earn a Phi Beta Kappa charter. Organized as the Delta of Tennessee Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society that December, the chapter inducted its first student members on April 4, 1953.

From 2004 to 2013, Fisk was been directed by its 14th president, the Honorable Hazel O'Leary, former Secretary of Energy under President Bill Clinton. She was the second woman to serve as president of the university. On June 25, 2008, Fisk announced that it had successfully raised $4 million during the fiscal year ending June 30. It ended nine years of budget deficits and qualified for a Mellon Foundation challenge grant.[citation needed] However, Fisk still faced significant financial hardship, and claimed that it may need to close its doors unless its finances improve.[8]

In December 2012, it was announced that H. James Williams, formerly dean of the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University in Michigan and, before that, an accounting professor at Georgetown University, Florida A&M and Texas Southern University,[2] would become the university's 15th president in February 2013.[9]

Campus[edit]

Fisk University Historic District
LocationRoughly bounded by 16th and 18th Aves., Hermosa, Herman and Jefferson Sts.
Nashville, Tennessee
Architectural styleItalianate; Queen Anne
Governing bodyFisk University
NRHP Reference #78002579
Added to NRHPFebruary 9, 1978

Jubilee Hall, which was recently restored, is the oldest and most distinctive structure of Victorian architecture on the 40 acre (160,000 m²) Fisk campus.


Music, art, and literature collections[edit]

Fisk University is the home of a music literature collection founded by the noted Harlem Renaissance figure Carl Van Vechten.

Alfred Stieglitz Collection[edit]

In 1949, painter Georgia O'Keeffe facilitated the exchange of 99 paintings from the estate of her husband, Alfred Stieglitz. She made an outright gift of two of her own paintings to the school. These are on permanent display at the University's Carl Van Vechten Galleries.

In 2005, mounting financial difficulties led the University trustees to vote to sell two of the paintings, O'Keeffe's "Radiator Building" and Marsden Hartley's "Painting No. 3". (Together these were estimated to be worth up to 45 million U.S. dollars.) However, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, the legal guardians of her estate, sued to stop the sale on the basis that the original bequest did not allow the art to be sold. At the end of 2007 a plan to share the collection with the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art to earn money was being fought in court by the O'Keeffe Museum.[10] The O'Keeffe Museum would later withdrew its lawsuit. In October 2010, a judge ruled that a 50% stake in the collection could be sold to Crystal Bridges if modifications to the contract were made so that the University could not lose its interest in the collection, nor could the joint venture holding ownership of the collection between the University and Crystal Bridges be based in Delaware (or outside Tennessee Courts). The modified agreement would allow the works to stay at the University until 2013 and then begin a two-year rotation with Crystal Bridges.[11] In April 2012, the Tennessee Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision to allow the sale to move forward. A few months later on August 2, The Davidson County Chancery Court approval a Final Agreed Order that establish joint ownership between the University and Crystal Bridges through the newly established Stieglitz Art Collection, LLC. The operating agreement required the University to set aside $3.9 million of the $30 million sale proceeds to be used to establish a fund used for the care and maintenance of the collection at the Van Vechten Gallery at the University.[12][13] The court dispute cost the University $5.8 million in legal fees.[14]

Science programs[edit]

Fisk University has a strong record of academic excellence: it has graduated more African Americans who go on to earn PhDs in the natural sciences than any other institution.[15]

Ranking[edit]

Fisk University is one of four historically black colleges and universities to earn a tier-one ranking on the list of Best National Liberal Arts Colleges in the 2011 edition of Best Colleges by U.S. News and World Reports. Of the 1,400 institutions ranked nationwide, only 246 institutions earned tier one status.[citation needed]

Fisk appears on Parade magazine's "A List" of colleges and universities that offer combined Bachelor's and Master's degree programs.[16]

In 2010, the Washington Monthly ranked Fisk 29th among America's Best Liberal Arts Colleges.[citation needed] In 2011, CBS Money Watch ranked professors at Fisk University 19th out of 650 colleges and universities in the nation.[citation needed]

According to the Princeton Review, Fisk University is one of America's 373 Best Colleges & Universities.[17]

Athletics[edit]

Fisk University teams, nicknamed athletically as the Bulldogs, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)[18] Division I level, primarily competing in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC).[19] Men's sports include basketball, cross country, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball.

Notable alumni[edit]

NameClass yearNotabilityReference(s)
Lil Hardin Armstrong1915jazz pianist/composer, second wife of Louis Armstrong
Constance Baker Motley1941–1942first African-American woman elected to the New York State Senate
Marion Barry1960former mayor of Washington, D.C.
Mary Frances Berryformer Chair, United States Commission on Civil Rights; former Chancellor University of Colorado at Boulder
John Betsch1967Jazz percusionist
Joyce Boldenfirst African-American woman to serve on the Commission for Accreditation of the National Association of Schools of Music
Otis Boykin1942Inventor, control device for the heart pacemaker
St. Elmo Bradyfirst African American to earn a doctorate in Chemistry
Cora Brownfirst African-American woman elected to a state senate
Henry Alvin Cameron1896Educator, decorated World War I veteran
J.O. Patterson, Jr.1958First African American to occupy the office of Mayor of Memphis. Tennessee State Representative, State Senator, Memphis Councilman, Jurisdictional Bishop in the Church of God in Christ
Elizabeth Hortense (Golden) Canadypast national president of Delta Sigma Theta sorority
Alfred O. Coffinfirst African American to earn a doctorate in zoology
Johnnetta B. Coleanthropologist, former President of Spelman College and Bennett College
William L. Dawson (politician)1909U.S. Congressman (1943-1970)
Arthur Cunningham1951Musical Composer, studied at Juilliard and Columbia University
Charles DiggsUnited States House of Representatives Michigan (1955-1980)
Mahala Ashley Dickerson1935first black female attorney in the state of Alabama and first black president of the National Association of Women Lawyers
Rel Dowdell1993acclaimed filmmaker
W. E. B. Du Bois1888sociologist, scholar, first African-American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard
Venida Evans1969Actress, best known for Ikea commercials
Etta Zuber Falconer1953first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics; former Chair, mathematics department at Spelman College
John Hope Franklin1935historian, professor, scholar, author of landmark text From Slavery to Freedom
Victor O. FrazerUnited States House of Representatives (1995–1997)
Alonzo Fulghamformer acting chief and operating officer of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Nikki Giovanni1967poet, author, professor, scholar
Louis George Gregoryposthumously, a Hand of the Cause in Bahá'í Faith
Kevin HalesProfessor, Africologist, Fulbright Scholar, NEH Scholar, Teaching Excellence Professor (Scholar of global African culture)
Alcee HastingsU.S. Congressman and former U.S. district court judge
Roland Hayesconcert singer
Perry Wilbon HowardAssistant U.S. Attorney General under President Herbert Hoover
Elmer Imes1903Renowned Physicist and Second African-American to earn a Ph.D in Physics
Esther Cooper Jackson1940Founding editor of Freedomways Journal
Leonard Jackson (actor)1952Actor, Five on the Black Hand Side; The Color Purple
Robert Jamesformer NFL cornerback
Judith JamisonPioneering Dancer and Choreographer; former artistic Director, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Ted JarrettR&B recording artist and producer
Dr. Charles Jeter1971father of Derek Jeter
Ben Jobe1956Legendary basketball coach, Southern University
Lewis Wade Jones1931Sociologist; Julius Rosenwald Foundation Fellow at Columbia University
Ella Mae Johnson1921at age 105 years old, Ella Mae Johnson traveled to Washington, DC to attend the inauguration of Barack Obama
Matthew Knowles1973Father and manager of Beyoncé Knowles
Nella Larsen1908Novelist, Harlem Renaissance era
Julius Lester1960Author of children's books and former professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
David Levering LewisTwo-time Pulitzer Prize Winner
John LewisCongressman, civil rights activist, former President of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
Jimmie Lunceford1925famous bandleader in the swing era
Aubrey Lyles1903Vaudville performer
E.M. Lysonge1998Former SGA President. Currently serves as Vice President, Legal Affairs at Churchill Downs Incorporated
Mandisa2001Grammy and Dove Award-nominated Christian contemporary singer/songwriter, ninth-place finalist in the fifth season (2006) of American Idol
Patti J. Malone1880Fisk Jubilee Singer
Louis E. Martin1933Godfather of Black Politics
Wade H. McCree1941Second African-American United States Solicitor General; Justice, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Samuel A. McElwee1883State Senator during the Reconstruction Era and the first African American elected three times to the Tennessee General Assembly
Robert McFerrinfirst African American male to sing at the Metropolitan Opera and father of Bobby McFerrin
Leslie Meek1987Administrative Law Judge, wife of Congressman Kendrick Meek
Ronald E. MickensPhysicist, winner of the Edward Bouchet Award
Theo Mitchell1960Senator, South Carolina General Assembly
Undine Smith Moorefirst Fisk graduate to receive a scholarship to Juilliard, Pulitzer Prize Nominee
Diane Nashfounding member of SNCC
Rachel B. NoelPolitician; first African-American to serve on the Denver Public Schools Board of Education
Hon. Hazel O'Learyformer U.S. Secretary of Energy
Lucius T. Outlaw, Jr.Philosophy professor at Vanderbilt University[10][20]
Helen Phillips1928first African-American to perform with the Metropolitan Opera Chorus
Annette Lewis Phinazee1939first black woman to earn a doctorate in library sciences from Columbia University
Anita PonderPartner, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLC; Super Lawyers (2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009)
Alma Powellwife of Gen. Colin Powell
Kay George Robertsorchestral conductor
Bradley T Shearesformer CEO Reliant Pharmaceuticals; former President, H.H. Division, Merck & Co.
Martha Lynn SherrodPresiding District Court Judge, first African American to win an at-large election in North Alabama since Reconstruction
Lorenzo Dow Turner1910Linguist and Chair, African Studies at Roosevelt University
A. Maceo Walker1930Businessman, Universal Life Insurance, Tri-State Bank
Ron Walters1963Scholar of African-American politics, Chair, Afro-American Studies Brandeis University
Margaret Murray Washington1890Lady Principal of Tuskegee Institute and third wife of Booker T. Washington
Ida B. WellsAmerican civil rights activist and women's suffrage advocate
Charles H. Wesley1911President of Wilberforce University from 1942 to 1947, and President of Central State College from 1947–1965; third African-American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard
Kym Whitleyactress, comedienne
Frederica Wilson1963U.S. Representative for Florida's 17th congressional district
Tom Wilson (producer)1953Music producer, best known for his work with Bob Dylan and Frank Zappa
Yetta Young1991First to produce all African-American celebrity cast of the Obie-Award winning play The Vagina Monologues. Actresses have included Academy Award Winner Mo'Nique and Academy Award Nominee Taraji P. Henson
Frank Yerby1938first African-American to publish a best-selling novel

Notable faculty[edit]

NameDepartmentNotabilityReference
Camille AkejuArtArt historian & museum administrator[21]
Arna BontempsLibrarianHead Librarian; Harlem Renaissance Poet
Robert HaydenUnited States Poet Laureate 1976-1978
Charles Spurgeon JohnsonPresidentFirst African American President of Fisk University
Thomas Elsa JonesPresidentFifth President of Fisk University
Percy Lavon JulianChemistryfirst African-American Chemist and second African-American from any field to become a member of the National Academy of Sciences
Lee LorchMathematicsmathematician and civil rights activist. Fired in 1955 for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee.
Hon. Hazel O'LearyPresidentformer U.S. Secretary of Energy
John Oliver KillensWriter in ResidenceTwo-time Pulitzer Prize Nominee
Nikki GiovanniEnglishauthor, poet, activist
James Weldon JohnsonLiteratureauthor, poet and civil rights activist, author of Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing, known as the "Negro National Anthem"
John W. Work IIIMusicChoir Director, Ethnomusicologist and scholar of Afro-American folk music
Aaron DouglasArtpainter, illustrator, muralist
Robert E. ParkSociologysociologist of the Chicago School

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Welcome". Fisk Memorial Chapel. Retrieved 28 June 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "President", Fisk University webpage. Retrieved 2013-07-29
  3. ^ Mitchell, Reavis L., Jr., Clinton Bowen Fisk, The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, 2002, accessed 8 July 2012
  4. ^ "History of Fisk". Fisk University. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Mitchell, Reavis L., Jr., Fisk University, The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, 2002, accessed 3 Mar 2009
  6. ^ Biographical note: Adam Knight Spence, Spence Family Collection, Fisk University Library, accessed 3 Mar 2009. Link via webarchive accessed 15 August 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Fisk University", The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, 2002, accessed 3 Mar 2009. "When the American Missionary Association declined to assume the financial responsibility of the Jubilee Singers, Professor George L. White, Treasurer of the University, took the responsibility upon himself and started North in 1871 with his troupe. On April 12, 1873, the Jubilee Singers sailed for England where they sang before a fashionable audience in the presence of the Queen, who expressed her gratification at the performance."
  8. ^ "Fisk University Struggles Through Financial Crisis", NPR, September 16, 2010
  9. ^ Phillips, Betsy, "H. James Williams Named New President of Fisk University", Nashville Scene, December 7, 2012. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
  10. ^ a b Schelzig, Erik (2007-12-28). "Fisk U. struggles to sell art". USA Today. Associated Press.  Alternate AP title: "Search for cash turns into battle over art for Fisk University".
  11. ^ Kennedy, Randy (11 October 2010). "Fisk University in New Bid to Gain Approval to Sell Art". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 October 2010. 
  12. ^ Pogrebin, Robin (3 August 2012). "Legal Battle Over Fisk University Art Collection Ends". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  13. ^ Rosenbaum, Lee (CultureGrrl), "News Flash: Court Order to Send Fisk’s Stieglitz Collection to Crystal Bridges in Fall 2013", Arts Journal blog, August 2, 2012.
  14. ^ Allyn, Bobby (4 August 2012). "Fisk finalizes deal to sell half-stake of Alfred Stieglitz collection in end to long fight, half-stake sold to Arkansas museum". The Tennessean. Retrieved 5 August 2012. 
  15. ^ RESOLUTION NO. RS2008-188: A resolution to recognize and declare Fisk University Day in Nashville, Tennessee on March 19, 2008, Nashville Metropolitan Council, accessed 3 Mar 2009
  16. ^ Parade's College "A" List: Combined Bachelor's/Graduate Degree: Fisk University, Parade, accessed 8 July 2012
  17. ^ Princeton Review Best Colleges
  18. ^ NAIA Member Schools, NAIA webpage. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
  19. ^ GCAC Members, GCAC webpage. Retrieved 2013-08-28.
  20. ^ Vanderbilt University bio. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  21. ^ Bass, Holly (March–April 2006). "Camille Akeju: New Director Seeks to Rejuvenate Anacostia Museum". Crisis: 37–39. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 

External links[edit]