Honoring Tougaloo Collegeby Representative Bennie G. Thompson
Posted on 2014-01-10
in the house of representatives
Friday, January 10, 2014
Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor a
remarkable school, Tougaloo College. Tougaloo College is one of the
United States' premier historically black college and universities. The
American Missionary Association (AMA) founded Tougaloo in 1869. Early
in that year the AMA had commissioned Allen P. Huggins, a former Union
officer, to look for land for a normal-agricultural school. He found
the former plantation of John Boddie about seven miles north of
Jackson, Mississippi and negotiated to buy it from its owner, George
McKee, for $10,500. The money for the plantation was provided by the
In 1871 the Mississippi State Legislature granted the school a charter with the name ``Tougaloo University.'' In 1892 the state discontinued funding but the Normal Department was recognized as a teacher training school. College credit first became available in 1897, but qualifying for accreditation by the Southern Association took a number of years to achieve. Improvements in the library, academic degrees for teachers, and endowments led to state accreditation in the 1930s. With this, graduates who had taken 18 semester hours of education courses were granted a lifelong professional teaching license. Tougaloo had again undergone a name change in 1916 to Tougaloo College.
In 1954 Tougaloo College merged with the Southern Christian Institute (SCI) in Edwards, Mississippi, because the two schools had similar missions and goals. The new school was called the Tougaloo Southern Christian College, but in 1962 was once again renamed Tougaloo College. Tougaloo was very active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and maintains a reputation for strong social commitment.
Today Tougaloo, with approximately 1,000 students, is a private, coeducational, four-year, liberal arts school. It has a selective admittance rate, but is committed to providing those from challenging circumstances with a good education. The student population is primarily African American, but all are welcome to apply. Nearly 40 percent of the practicing African American physicians and dentists in the state of Mississippi are Tougaloo graduates, and 35 percent of all current Mississippi educators are. More than 66 percent of Tougaloo graduates enroll in graduate or Ph.D. programs immediately after graduating. Tougaloo has won national respect for its high academic standards.
Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Tougaloo College for their dedication to serving.