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Spotlight on 'Modecai Wyatt Johnson'

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  • multiracialbookclub
    Mordecai Wyatt Johnson Dr. Mordecai Wyatt Johnson was the very first president of Howard University who was also of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 30 12:49 PM
      Mordecai Wyatt Johnson
      Dr. Mordecai Wyatt Johnson was the very first
      president of Howard University
      who was also
      of the 
      African-American Ethnic grouping.

      He served at Howard in this capacity
      for more than three decades
      Date of birth:  December 12, 1890
      Place of birth:   Paris, Tennessee


      Mordecai Johnson was born on December 12, 1890
      in a small Southern town, Paris, Tennessee
      to former slaves, Wyatt and Carolyn.

      His father was both a minister and a mill
      worker, and was also a man who set rigorous
      standards for his son's chores and behavior, and 
      his mother worked was a "domestic" employee.

      After having completed his grammar school
      education, he then enrolled in Nashville's
      Academy of Roger Williams University in 1903. 

      The school was destroyed by fire in 1905. 

      Mordecai completed the term at
      the Howe Institute in Memphis. 

      Later that year, he entered the preparatory
      department of Atlanta Baptist College where
      he completed his high school studies. 

      During his college years, from 1907-1911,
      he was strongly influenced by Atlanta
      University President John Hope color

      Mordecai Johnson played football and
      tennis, was on the debating team, and
      sang in the glee club and chorus. 

      He was appointed to the faculty, where he taught
      history, economics, and English for two years. 

      He served as acting dean for
      the 1911-1912 academic year.

      Mordecai studied at the University of Chicago
      during the summers of 1912 and 1913, and
      received a second bachelor of arts degree in 1913. 

      He matriculated at the Rochester
      Theological Seminary from 1913-1916.

      Mordecai became the pastor of the Second Baptist
      Church in Mumford, New York while at Rochester. 

      In 1916, he married Anna Ethelyn
      Gardner of Augusta, Georgia. 

      They had three sons and two daughters. 

      Mordecai was a secretary of the International
      Committee of the YMCA, working in the
      southwestern field from 1916-1917. 

      A year later, he became pastor of the First
      Baptist Church of Charleston, West Virginia,
      and established a reputation as a brilliant
      orator and "community organizer." 

      In 1922 Harvard University presented to Mordecai
      the degree of Master of Science in theology. 

      In 1923 Howard University presented to him
      the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. 

      A similar degree was conferred upon him
      by the Gammon Theological Seminar in 1928.

      In 1926, Mordecai was appointed as the thirteenth 
      president of Howard University, and, at that time,
      he, thus, also became the very first president
      of Howard University who was also of
      African-American Ethnic grouping.

      On June 10, 1927, Dr. Johnson
      delivered his Inauguaral Address
      as President of Howard University. 

      He held that position for thirty-four years. 

      Dr. Mordecai Johnson died in the year 1976.

      A book entitled, 'Mordecai Johnson, the Man
      and his Message'
      has been written about his life.  


      Howard University
      is a part of the nationally registered 
      Network of the HIBMCU Educational Institutions.



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