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Way Back Wednesday: Philander Smith College

This Little Rock institution was started 144 years ago. It was originally created to educate black ministers.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Here's a question for you. What do former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, Little Rock's first female mayor Lottie Shackelford and Harlem Globetrotter great Hubert "Geese" Ausbie have in common?

The answer? They are all graduates of Philander Smith College, which was created 144 years ago tomorrow!

As a result of the Freedmen's Bureau, which was formed to give freed slaves an opportunity at an education, Philander Smith started as Walden Seminary on November 7th, 1869.

It was created to educate black ministers. The school was originally located at 8th and Broadway but was moved to its current location following a gift by the widow of real estate agent and philanthropist Philander Smith.

He and his wife were very generous givers to Methodist causes around the world- most notably in Asia.

As a result of their $10,500 gift, Walden Seminary changed its name to Philander Smith College.
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