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Tougaloo College is a private, co-educational, liberal arts institution of higher education founded in 1869, in Madison Countymarker, on the northern edge of Jacksonmarker, Mississippimarker, USAmarker.

Tougaloo College is ranked as one of the Best in the Southeast by Princeton Review (2007 and 2008 edition) and one of the top 20 liberal arts institutions in the nation by The Washington Monthly (2007 edition). It is also included in the U.S. News and World Report's list of best colleges (2007 edition) and is ranked in the top 20 of the Best Black Colleges by U.S. News and World Report (2008 edition).

According to the National Science Foundation, Tougaloo College ranks among the top 50 U.S. institutions whose graduates earn PhD in science and engineering disciplines and among the top 15 historically black colleges and universities in the graduation of minority males and females with undergraduate degrees in the physical sciences. The College has produced more graduates who have completed their PhD degrees through the UNCF-Mellon Doctoral Fellowship Program than any other institution in the nation.


In 1869, the American Missionary Association of New York purchased of one of the largest former plantations in central Mississippi to build a college for recently freed slaves. In 1871, the Mississippi State Legislature granted the institution a charter under the name of Tougaloo University. Tougaloo remained predominantly a teacher training school until 1892, when the College ceased to receive aid from the state. Courses for college credit were first offered in 1897, and the first Bachelor of Arts degree was awarded in 1901. In 1916, the name of the institution was changed to Tougaloo College.

Six years after Tougaloo's founding, the Home Missionary Society of the Christian Church obtained a charter from the Mississippi State Legislature to establish a school at Edwards, Mississippimarker, to be known as Southern Christian Institute. The two schools had similar ideals and goals, and therefore, were able to merge in 1954. The new college combined the resources of the two supporting bodies and renewed its dedication to educational advancement and the improvement of race relations in Mississippi. The alumni bodies of the two institutions united to become the National Alumni Association of Tougaloo Southern Christian College. In 1962, by vote of the Board of Trustees, and with the agreement of the supporting bodies, the school's name was returned to its last before the 1954 merger, Tougaloo College.

Dr. Beverly Wade Hogan, the thirteenth and first female president, began her tenure in 2002. Under her leadership, there has been a 12% increase in enrollment and the retention rate is now 68%.


The campus includes a Historic District, which comprises ten buildings that are each listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The three anchors of the Historic District are the Robert O. Wilder Building also known as "The Mansion," Woodworth Chapel, and Brownlee Gymnasium. Standing in the center of the campus, "The Mansion" overlooks the ensemble of buildings forming the College's historic core. The Mansion, constructed in 1860, as the home of John W. Boddie, a wealthy cotton planter and the centerpiece of his plantation, became the nucleus for Tougaloo College and is the oldest building on campus. It is presently being restored.

Woodworth Chapel, originally known as Woodworth Church, was built in 1901, by dedicated students under the direction of Walker Frazier, head carpenter. It was restored and rededicated in 2002. In September 2004, the National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded Tougaloo College the National Preservation Honor Award for the restoration of Woodworth Chapel. The restoration was also recognized by the Mississippi Chapter of the American Institute of Architects who bestowed its Honor Award. Woodworth Chapel houses the Union Church, founded alongside the college as a Congregational church, which is today the state of Mississippi's only congregation of the United Church of Christ. Located in the heart of the campus beside Woodworth Chapel is the third anchor of the Historic District, Brownlee Gymnasium. Built in 1947, the building was named in honor of Dr. Fred L. Brownlee, former general secretary of the American Missionary Association.

Another distinctive resource is the College's prestigious Tougaloo Art Collection. It was begun in 1963, by a group of prominent New York artists, curators and critics, initiated by the late Dr. Ronald Schnell, Professor Emeritus of Art, as a mechanism to motivate his art students. The collection consists of pieces by African American, American and European artists. Included in the African American portion of the collection are pieces by notable African American artists Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, David Driskell, Richard Hunt, Elizabeth Catlett, and Hale Woodruff. There are 1,150 works in the Tougaloo Art Collection including paintings, sculptures, drawings, collages, various forms of graphic art and ornamental pieces.

The Tougaloo Art Colony is another distinctive resource of the College. Begun in 1997 under the leadership of former College trustee, Jane Hearn, the Tougaloo Art Colony affords its participants exposure to and intensive instruction by nationally and internationally renowned artists. The annual one-week venue is held in July and includes a Thursday night event open to the public. Past instructors include David Driskell, David R. MacDonald, John McDaniel, Akemi Nakana Cohn, Moe Booker, Jamaal Sheats, Jerre Allen, Kevin Cole, Gail Shaw-Clemons, and Hyun Chong Kim.

Tougaloo College is also home to The Civil Rights Library and Archives. Among the items in The Civil Rights Library and Archives are the original papers, photographs and memorabilia of such luminaries as Fannie Lou Hamer, Medgar Wiley Evers and Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition, it contains works of notable writers, poets and blues great, B. B. King. Many of these are rare, valuable first editions.

The College established the Medgar Wiley Evers Museum in 1996. The home of Mr. Evers and his family was donated to Tougaloo College by his wife and College trustee, Myrlie Evers-Williams, and their children. In 1996, the home was restored to its original condition at the time of Mr. Evers' assassination in the driveway. The College was awarded a historic appropriation grant from the state of Mississippi and an in-kind contribution of furnishings from Castle Rock Productions during the filming of Ghosts of Mississippi, which chronicled the quest for justice following Mr. Evers' assassination. The museum is open to the public.


Today, more than 40% of Mississippi's practicing African-American physicians, dentists, other health professionals, and attorneys are graduates of Tougaloo College. Over 35% of the State's teachers and administrators at the elementary and secondary levels are Tougalooians.

Student activities


Tougaloo's athletic teams use the name Bulldogs, and Lady Bulldogs for women's sports. The Tougaloo College Department of Athletics sponsors eight intercollegiate sports: men's baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, men's cross country, women's cross country, men's tennis, women's tennis, and men's golf.

Notable alumni

External links

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