Learn about the first African Americans at Hanover
through their own words and from historical documents ---
- Read alumni interviews for
a twenty-first-century perspective on the civil rights era.
- Read articles from the Triangle
(Hanover's student newspaper) for student perspectives from the civil
- Read other primary sources for
more perspectives (for example, from students at other schools).
- Read secondary
sources for historical context.
A Brief History of Race Relations at Hanover College, 1832-1980
Racial equality was a founding principle for Hanover College. John
Finley Crowe, who started the school that became Hanover College, was an
abolitionist, as was James Blythe, the College's first
Templeton, Hanover's first African-American student, enrolled as a
preparatory student in 1832 and stayed for four years. He chose to
leave for seminary before graduating, but the community seems to have
welcomed him, and his time at Hanover was uneventful.
Unfortunately, the college changed its position thirty years after its
founding. In 1857, Moses
Broiles was the second African American to apply for admission, but
his application was rejected. Apparently, the faculty and Board of
Trustees chose to abandon the College's founding principles because they
feared that admitting an African-American student might reduce white
enrollment or cause conflict on campus.
Hanover maintained this segregationist policy for almost one hundred years.
In 1948, Alma
Gene Prince, from nearby Madison, applied for admission as a transfer
student. So far as the record shows, she was the first African
American to apply for admission since Moses Broiles. Although there
was some quiet and ugly opposition to having an African American on campus,
most welcomed Prince, and she became Hanover's first African-American
graduate in 1951.
The Board of Trustees officially affirmed the integration of the College in
1954, but years went by without any additional African-American students.
Warner Spencer was the next African American to be admitted, in 1957 -- one
hundred years after the College had rejected Moses Broiles. Spencer
graduated in 1961. About ten more African Americans attended over the rest
of the 1960s, and about a dozen in the 1970s.
See this bibliography
for sources and more historical context.
- Benjamin Templeton, of Adams County,
Ohio, was admitted in 1832 and succeeded as a student but left before
- Moses Broiles, of Franklin, Indiana,
was refused admission in 1857, when the College officially barred
- Alma Gene Prince, of Madison, Indiana,
majored in social science and graduated in 1951 -- the first African
American to do so.
Spencer, of Evansville, Indiana, majored in sociology and
psychology and graduated in 1961.
- In 1963, African-American and white students (including Judy
Moffett) organize around civil rights issues.
- Arthur Ngama Ndoro, of Nakuru, Kenya, majored in economics and
graduated in 1964.
Ann Bryant, of Indianapolis, Indiana, majored in sociology and
graduated in 1965.
- Lowell Cheatham Wormley, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, majored in
history and graduated in 1965.
- Phyllis Ann Simmons, of Indianapolis, Indiana, majored in mathematics
and graduated in 1966.
Woods III, of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, majored in history and
graduated in 1968.
- Dorothy Herring, of Indianapolis, Indiana, majored in mathematics and
graduated in 1969.
- Sarah Etoria Howard, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, majored in theater and
- John Berlew was a student in the 1960s or 1970s.
- Arlene Johnson was a student in the 1960s or 1970s.
Thomas, of Ghana, majored in chemistry and graduated in 1970.
- Willie Perkins, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, majored in history and
graduated in 1971.
- Jimmy Reed, of Jonisville, Kentucky, majored in history and graduated
- Ricardo Lyles, of Washington, D.C., majored in political science and
graduated in 1972.
- Robert Carter, Jr, of Cleveland, Ohio, majored in psychology and
graduated in 1973.
- Semere Haile, of Asmara, Ethiopia, majored in business and graduated
- Yvonne Hundley, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, majored in sociology
and graduated in 1973.
- Terrell Robinson, of Tuskeger Institute, Alabama, majored in speech
drama and graduated in 1973.
- Patrick Iyahe, of Benin City, Igeria, majored in chemistry and biology
and graduated in 1974.
- Nathan Clemmons, of Indianapolis, Indiana, majored in physical
education and graduated in 1976.
- Geoffrey Duruamaku, of Obazu-Mbieri, Nigeria, majored in sociology and
graduated in 1978.
- James Hickerson III, of Jeffersonville, Indiana, majored in sociology
and graduated in 1978.