Near Farmville in Prince Edward County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
— Prince Edward County —
During the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, the college did not publicly take sides. Some faculty children attended the all-white private Prince Edward Academy, when all the county’s public schools were closed to stave off integration. Several Hampden-Sydney students were active in teaching children in the Prince Edward Free Schools, which were established for black children during this period.
Without fanfare, the college enrolled its first black student in 1968. African-American faculty members soon followed. Through more than 200 years of strong leadership, Hampden-Sydney College continues to have a strong, active student
Erected by Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail®. (Marker Number 28.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Civil Rights • Education. In addition, it is included in the Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail, the Former U.S. Presidents: #04 James Madison, the Former U.S. Presidents: #09 William Henry Harrison, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #35 John F. Kennedy series lists.
Location. 37° 14.697′ N, 78° 27.615′ W. Marker is near Farmville, Virginia, in Prince Edward County. Marker is on College Road (County Route 692) 0.3 miles south of Five Forks Road (County Route 658), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hampden Sydney VA 23943, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hampden-Sydney (a few steps from this marker); About Hampden-Sydney College (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Hampden-Sydney College (approx. ¼ mile away); The Birthplace (approx. ¼ mile away); Presbyterian Seminary (approx. 0.3 miles away); Kingsville French's Church (approx. 0.9 miles away); Randolph-Macon Medical School (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Farmville.
More about this marker. On the left are two photos with the captions:
"(Top Left) Hampden-Sydney student William Bennett tutors a black child in 1962. Many community members tried to help preserve basic educational opportunities in Prince Edward County while the public schools were closed."
"(Bottom Left) Hampden-Sydney College, like many other public and private colleges of its time, was open only to white students. It opened its doors to students of all races, however, a decade after this picture was taken in 1957. Cushing Hall, built in 1822, is in the background."
In the center is a photo with the caption, "(Above Center) The log cabin of the Hampden-Sydney College Ministerial Association, a student professional club, became a makeshift classroom where faculty wives taught black children. These classes were later suspended, however, as a result of the College’s official policy of neutrality in the schools controversy."
On the right is a photo with the caption, "(Above) U.S. Attorney General Bobby Kennedy came to Farmville in September 1964 to view the recently opened Free Schools. While here, he spoke at Hampden-Sydney College and received a portrait of his brother, the late John F. Kennedy, painted by Hampden-Sydney College student Louis Briel. W. Taylor Reveley, president of the College, stands behind the portrait."
All photographs copyright Richmond Times Dispatch - used by permission.
Also see . . .
1. Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail. Virginia's Retreat (Submitted on May 31, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
2. Hampden-Sydney College. (Submitted on May 31, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on May 31, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 903 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 31, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. 4. submitted on April 15, 2012, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. 5, 6. submitted on May 31, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.