Hampton University's College of Education and Continuing Studies
— Explore Hampton 2010: From the Sea to the Stars —
George Perley Phenix, a prominent white educator from Maine, was elected the fourth and last principal of Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute on Jan. 30, 1930. His title was changed to president the following July 1, the same day the school's name was shortened to Hampton Institute. It was time for another major step, Phenix believed for Hampton to move toward college status. From a training institute founded for former slaves and their children, he wrote, "Hampton had gradually become a school for the children of self-supporting Negro parents." His goals were far-reaching. "If Hampton is to realize her possibilities, it is imperative that in buildings and equipment and in personnel, she represents only the best."
Phenix lobbied for and won state funding for a new public school, which the Institute would operate for both elementary and secondary students. Tragically, he did not live to see it because in October 1930 he drowned in a swimming accident. Named in his honor, the George P. Phenix Training School opened on this spot in 1932. Besides educating African American students, the school also offered classroom training for
Hampton Institute soon took a courageous stand. Because it no longer wished to run a segregated high school, it closed Phenix, demanding that the city established an integrated high school. The city was not ready for that step and opened a new, segregated Phenix High School on LaSalle Avenue in 1962. A year later, it was integrated. Its name was changed in 1967, and the school eventually closed. A new George P. Phenix School, offering kindergarten through eighth grade classes, opened in 2010. The name also survives as Phenix Hall, the home of Hampton University's College of Education and Continuing Studies.
Erected by Hampton Convention & Visitor Bureau.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Education. In addition, it is included in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities 🎓 series list.
Location. 37° 1.338′ N, 76° 20.136′ W. Marker is in Phoebus in Hampton, Virginia. Marker is on William R. Harvey Way just east of Soldiers Home Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 31 William R Harvey Way, Hampton VA 23669, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other
Credits. This page was last revised on February 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 8, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 34 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on February 8, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.