BY JAVIER JOHNSON
ORGANIZATION WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT
The Stillman Historical Association began in 2003 as an organization to promote the study of history and the history major at Stillman College. It is open to all students. It sponsors numerous activities throughout the school year, including the viewing of historical tv shows, historical movie nights, guest speakers, conferences, trips to museums and other educational exhibits, and foreign travel.
The Stillman Pre-Law Club was founded by the department of Social Sciences to assist those students of all majors interested in continuing on to law school. The club provides trips to regional law schools, aids with the application process, sponsors guest speakers from the educational and legal communities, and helps prepare students to cope with the rigorous academic requirements that are expected.
Dr. Linda Beito is a tenured/associate professor, Chair-Department of Social Sciences, Pre-Law Advisor, and Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences at Stillman College. Dr. Beito has called Stillman College home since 1999. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Alabama (1996) in Political Science and holds a Masters degree in Criminal Justice. Dr. Beito has an active publication record with 13 articles in refereed journals and two books. Her latest book (co-authored by Dr. David Beito) “Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power” was published in 2009 by the University of Illinois Press.
Dr. Thomas S. Jennings is originally from Rochester, Minnesota. He graduated from The University of Alabama with his Ph.D. in 2004. He has been at Stillman for 6 years. He teaches classes in history and has been in higher education for 17 years.
Dr. Larry Kreiser is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His Ph.D is in American history from the University of Alabama. He has taught survey and upper-level courses in American history and world history during his six years at Stillman.
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. A junior and senior high school was organized and the Institute established a junior college program, which was accredited in 1937. In addition, between 1930 and 1946, it operated a hospital and nurse training school.
Under the administration of Dr. Samuel Burney Hay (1948-1965), the school sought to expand into a senior liberal arts institution and in 1948 the name was officially changed to Stillman College. The following year, Stillman expanded into a four-year college and graduated its first baccalaureate class in 1951. The College was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1953. Under Dr. Hay, seven new buildings were constructed: a gymnasium, a library, an administration-classroom building, two women’s residence halls, a prayer chapel, and a student center.
DR. HAROLD N. STINSON
Dr. Harold N. Stinson (1967-1980) was the first African American to assume the presidency. Under his dynamic leadership, new programs designed to improve educational quality were instituted, and the physical plant was expanded with the addition of two men’s residence halls, faculty apartments, a maintenance building, and a mathematics-science center. Snedecor Hall, Batchelor Building, and Birthright Auditorium were renovated.
Under the leadership of the College’s fourth president, Dr. Cordell Wynn (1982-1997), the appearance of the campus improved dramatically; Winsborough and John Knox Halls were renovated; and the Marie Lundy Wynn Hall and Johnson/Robinson Student Health Center were erected. The enrollment grew beyond 1,000 students; the endowment increased significantly; and the educational program was broadened to include the Stillman Management Institute and a community-service component.
Stillman College junior Lawrence Brown has a secret. Though inquisitive friends may try to coax it out of him, he is not saying a word. Recently, he was selected to participate in the seventh annual Ford Black College Quiz, a syndicated, nationally televised game show about the contributions of African Americans. Lawrence, who is the first Stillman student to be selected to participate in the competition, traveled to Spelman College to tape the show. He competed against students from eleven other HBCUs for up to $10,000 in scholarship money.
Maybe he won. Maybe he placed. Maybe he lost. Unfortunately, Lawrence is sworn to secrecy and cannot announce the results of the game until the show has finished airing nationwide. Even the amount he won—or didn’t win—is a top secret. The Tuscaloosa News interviewed Lawrence, and ran his photo on the front page. But Lawrence told the newspaper zilch about his score.