University celebrates Founders Day

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Selma University, a campus that has bred thousands of academic scholars, theologians and community leaders, celebrated its 130th Founders&8217; Day Tuesday in the school&8217;s Jemison-Owens Auditorium.

The University&8217;s history goes back to 1878, where a group of individuals concerned about the education of African-American children worked to build an institution that would impart Christian ideals along with the fundamentals of higher education.

Email newsletter signup

Among that group were Revs. W.H. McAlpine, James A. Foster and R. Murrell, who are recognized by the school for their efforts.

Guest speaker for the program was Charles Smith, pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, La. Smith shared with guests the biblical stories of the apostle Paul and the prodigal son as examples of what purpose and dedication could accomplish.

Dr. Gertie Lowe, president of the Alabama Baptist Women&8217;s Convention and a member of the Selma University Board of Trustees, said as a Baptist woman, it is important for her to not forget what men and women from generations ago worked to build for their children.

Mary Ellis, wife of Bobby Ellis, chairman of the board of trustees for Selma University, was presented with a love offering gathered during the program. The family had been experiencing difficulty after Ellis had his leg amputated, and his wife wept with gratitude when she was presented with the money. She described it as a token of appreciation for Ellis&8217; work with the university.

Dr. Collins Pettaway Sr., an alum of the class of 1962 and classmate of Bobby Ellis, said attending Selma University instilled in him a sense of commitment and dedication.