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Scarritt College for Christian
Workers

1892—1988

Jennifer Chan Photography

About Scarritt College
A College With a Mission

Originally established as Scarritt Bible and Training School for Women Missionaries in 1892 in Kansas City, MO, Scarritt College for Christian Workers trained young women missionaries, equipping them for global leadership in the church during a time when women were prohibited from other forms of leadership across most denominations. In 1924, the school relocated to Nashville, and between 1924 and 1927, with funds raised by the Women’s Missionary Societies of the Methodist Episcopal Church South and local donors, Scarritt Hall, Bennett Hall, Wightman Chapel, the historic Bell Tower, and Susie Gray Dining Hall were constructed.

The inspiring setting of the original campus, which expanded and grew over the subsequent decades, served as the context for a young and culturally diverse student body, who were educated in the cultures, languages, and traditions of those whom they would later serve overseas. In 1952, Scarritt College became one of the first white, private colleges in the state of Tennessee to integrate, and in April of 1957, the College famously hosted Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who preached in Wightman Chapel.

The college eventually became co-ed, and in 1980 Scarritt College for Christian Workers became Scarritt Graduate College. The College closed in 1988, after which the campus became home to Scarritt Bennett Center. As a nonprofit, Scarritt Bennett Center is dedicated to continuing the legacy of the school through the work of women's empowerment, racial justice, spiritual enrichment, and transformative education.

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The Tower Award and
The Room of Remembrance

“In a room at the base of the Scarritt Tower, whose walls are limestone from the hills of Tennessee, there are carved in the stone and in bronze, names bridging back a century. There, also, are names of contemporary persons. And each year a few more, always very few, may be added. These names have in common ‘evidence of a life which manifests the purpose, and ideals which led to the founding of Scarritt College for Christian Workers’ – evidence of the highest and finest Christian devotion and accomplishment. The room is called The Room of Remembrance. Appropriately, the recognition which is thus recorded in stone and enduring metal, is known as The Tower Award. Scarritt’s past and Scarritt’s present blend in grateful remembrance on that room at the base of Scarritt’s Tower.”

—excerpt from the 1979 Tower Award program

Slide 2
Remembering Rev. Dr. Fred C. Klein

Day by day, the Archives at the Virginia Davis Laskey Research Library & Archives continues to grow.

The latest collection to be processed by the Archives team is a collection of materials regarding the Tower Award and the Room of Remembrance. The Room of Remembrance is located on the second floor of Scarritt Hall, just beneath our historic bell tower. According to newly archived documentation, the Room of Remembrance was created in 1942 to honor and memorialize the founders of Scarritt College, as well as church workers, missionaries, and deaconesses of note around the connection. The photo and accompanying correspondence (left) is from 1943, and refers to the nomination of Rev. Dr. Fred C. Klein (1857-1926) to the original inscription in the Room of Remembrance. In 1883 Rev. Klein went to Yokohama, Japan as the first ordained minister sent to Japan by the Methodist Protestant Board of Missions.

The Archives team has also unearthed a number of materials, including documentation about the "Tower Award." This award was issued in the 1970s and 1980s to very small number of people, and those who received it were also memorialized in the Room of Remembrance.

Today, the Room of Remembrance can be accessed on the 2nd floor of Scarritt Hall. Next time you attend an event in the International Room at Scarritt Bennett Center, take note: you have to walk through the Room of Remembrance—and beneath the historic bell tower—on your way to your event.

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Scarritt College Alumni/ae
Anyone who attended Scarritt College, Scarritt Graduate School, and/or National College is considered a member of the Alumni/ae Association. There are no dues for membership.
Change the World
Changing the World, One Graduate at a Time

Scarritt College alumni/ae are living, working, and changing lives in their communities across the globe. Whether your grandmother graduated from Scarritt Bible & Traning School for Women Missionaries, or you graduated Scarritt College for Christian Workers or Scarritt Graduate College, the Scarritt alumni/ae truly carry a legacy of justice and compassion, and work for change wherever they go.

Have questions about transcripts? Trying to contact the Alumni/ae Association? Have a special request? Get in touch.

Scarritt Graduate School student (year unknown)
Slide 1
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Sketch of Scarritt College archway, "Attempt Great Things for God"
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The Archives of Scarritt College
for Christian Workers