The Marion nine men were Alexander H. Curtis, Joey Pinch, Thomas Speed, Nickolas Dale, James Childs, Thomas Lee, John Freeman, Nathan Levert and David Harris. They worked to provide an education for black children of Marion. Curtis was the most influential of the group and later led the push to reorganize Lincoln School into state institution. He was a member of Alabama Legislature for eight years and he loved the respect of his fellow legislators.
With Alma Freeman he wrote an essay about Alabama State University and said as efforts to desegregate state college systems increasingly threaten the very survival of higher education for black Americans. Thomas Speed was a 56 year old black smith and North Carolina native who could not read or write, but had gathered some personal property through his business operations. Joseph D.
Caver a graduate student in the department of history at Alabama State completed his masters thesis, titled Marion to Montgomery: A Twenty-Year History of Alabama State University, 1867-1887. Which presents a quite scholarly and sensitive analysis and documentation of state. On founders day all faculty and students are expected to be in attendance to uplift the vast works performed by our predecessors in making of ASU.
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It is our current tradition that the event be held in the Joe L. Reed Acadome. The presidents of Alabama State at the time are William Burns Paterson (1878-1915), John William Beverly (1915-1920), George Washington Trenholm (1920-1925, Harper Councill Trenholm (1925-1962), Levi Watkins (1962-1981), Robert L. Randolph(1981-1983), Leon Howard (1983-1991), Clifford C. Baker (1991-1994), Joe A. Lee (2001-2008) and William Hamilton Harris(1994-200/2008-2012).
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