Home for Alumni of a Defunct College

June 8, 2008

Chicago Event

Georgetown College and Bishop College alums are pictured on the steps of the Art Institute in Chicago at the first "Celebration of Diversity". The event helped to strengthen and recognize the partnership between Georgetown and Bishop College alumni.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Kate Moser

When debt forced Bishop College to close in 1988, alumni of the historically black institution in Texas had no campus to call home. Twenty years later, Bishop alumni are beginning to rally around their adoptive home, tiny Georgetown College, a mostly white institution nestled in Kentucky horse country.

Georgetown’s president, William H. Crouch Jr., proposed the idea to Bishop alumni two years ago: Georgetown could stand in as their alma mater, and they could help the president fulfill his goal of increasing minority enrollments from 7 percent today to 25 percent in 2012.

Mr. Crouch has raised money for a campus building that will include a nod to an iconic bell tower on the old Bishop College campus, and he hired minority-owned firms to design and construct it. But the challenges have gone beyond the financial.

He convinced members of an all-white fraternity that their tradition of dressing up in Confederate uniforms for “Old South” week in the spring would no longer be appropriate. He also enlisted “cultural advisers” to help him better understand black culture.

“It’s a rare time when you see a white male say, ‘I don’t know,’ and that’s why I love him,” says one of Mr. Crouch’s advisers, William C. Parker, a retired University of Kentucky administrator and expert in diversity training.

Mr. Crouch has won praise for his efforts. “To know that our school has been closed 20 years and to be able to revive that history and legacy at Georgetown is a tremendous blessing,” says the Rev. Denny D. Davis, a Bishop alumnus.

Mr. Davis’s niece, Ashley D. Carter-Colwell, is one of five students benefiting from a new scholarship for children and grandchildren of Bishop alumni or students nominated by alumni. Bishop’s name will be on her diploma, and her brand-new letter jacket — designed by a fellow Bishop scholar — features a lamp of knowledge from the defunct college’s insignia. Now Georgetown’s football coach wants his team to have the jackets, too, she says.

Congressional Black Caucus to Honor Georgetown College President and Students at U.S. Capitol

June 6, 2008

Bishop Scholars with Congressman Ben Chandler

Congressman Ben Chandler visits Georgetown to meet the five Bishop Scholars in preparation for their trip to the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington D.C.

Dr. William H. Crouch, Jr., President of Georgetown College, a small liberal arts, Christian college, comprised of 1,400 students, with 6% minority enrollment, is making history, and the nation is taking notice. Crouch has “adopted” over 7,000 alumni of Bishop College (a noted historically black college until it’s closing in 1988) and established the Bishop Scholars program. The academic scholarship program, executed out of the Office of Diversity by Executive Director, Brian O. Evans, Sr., allows select students the honor of carrying on the tradition of Bishop College alumni and keeping the legacy of Bishop College alive, while obtaining a first-class liberal arts education.

Because of this unique initiative, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) will host a reception in honor of Dr. Crouch, a noted visionary and pioneer in his style of diversity, along with Georgetown College’s current Bishop Scholars students, on Wednesday, April 30, 2008, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. The reception will give Crouch the opportunity to highlight the extraordinary national diversity efforts being executed at Georgetown College, specifically the Bishop College program, and the tremendous effect the program is having on the recipients and their families, as well as alumni. It will also allow the members of the CBC to meet the students.

Says Congresswoman Lee, “I am pleased to welcome the Bishop College Scholars in our nation’s capitol in order to recognize their tremendous achievements. I commend Georgetown College and the Bishop College Alumni for forming this historic partnership to promote academic excellence,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee, First Vice Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

To qualify as a “Bishop Legacy Scholar”, the student must be a child or grandchild of a Bishop College alum. Recipients must have a minimum 3.0 high school cumulative GPA or higher. Qualifying students receive a minimum $10,000 annual scholarship, renewable for four years to Georgetown College.

A “Bishop Scholar” must meet the same requirements as a Bishop Legacy Scholar, except the student must submit a written recommendation by a Bishop College alum, and they receive a $5,000 renewable, annual scholarship. Upon graduation, all Bishop Scholars receive a Georgetown College diploma integrating the phrase, “Bishop College Legacy”.

The 2007-2008 Georgetown Bishop Scholars are: David Boyle, Jr., Freshman in Business Administration; Ashley Carter-Colwell, Junior in Communications; Ashlee Gordon, Freshman in Accounting; Jarmar Smith, Freshman in Business Administration; and Ralpheal West, Freshman in Business Administration. The Bishop Scholars are very proud of the opportunity to represent Bishop College. Says West, “Being a Bishop Scholar means being a part of a historical black college that produced many successful black leaders.” Carter-Colwell says that by being a Bishop Scholar, “I get to carry on the Bishop legacy of academic and moral excellence.”

Dr. Crouch feels that his relationship with Bishop College alumni has been life-changing. “A richness has been added to my life and the life of Georgetown College because of the spirit found in the lives of Bishop College alumni,” says Crouch. “For the Congressional Black Caucus to recognize the uniqueness of this partnership is a great endorsement of this initiative,” he said.

One of the most ambitious efforts in the works is the construction of a replica of a building from the Bishop College campus, onto the campus of Georgetown College. The structure will be selected by a
group of appointed Bishop College alumni, and will house classrooms, as well as administrative offices for the department of education. It will also serve as a meeting place for Bishop College alums. Georgetown also plans to host a Bishop College Reunion in the near future.

Since the start of the Diversity program at Georgetown College, Dr. Crouch has developed a national and international reputation for developing unique academic and non-academic programs, expanding the geographical base from which the College’s ever-increasing enrollment comes, and aggressively pursuing greater diversity among students, faculty and staff.

In addition to the Bishop College program, other Georgetown College diversity initiatives include: establishing partnerships with the four national Black Baptist Conventions; the creation of the Underground Railroad Research Institute on the campus of Georgetown College; establishing “Pull-through” scholarships as incentives to young Black males (6th grade) to pursue a college degree, and potentially be awarded scholarships to Georgetown upon graduating from high school; Georgetown College partnerships with select medical schools to provide full scholarships to any qualifying African American male graduates of Georgetown College; and an entrepreneur
and mentorship program that includes internships with major corporations.

Boosting Black Enrollment: Vision for Diversity

January 14, 2008

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Old Bishop College ties go 897 miles

October 22, 2007

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