Per CDC guidelines, Scarritt Bennett Center asks all who visit our campus, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask while indoors.
Jennifer Chan Photography
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.
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.
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Eva Louise Hyde (1885-1982) attended the original Scarritt Bible and Training School for Women Missionaries in Kansas City, MO. While there, Hyde trained as a missionary educator. When Hyde graduated in 1909, she was sent to Rio de Janeiro, where she taught at Colegio Bennett, a boarding and day school for girls.
After eight years, Hyde became Colegio Bennett's principal, and during her tenure as principal she helped develop the school into the first Junior College for women in Brazil.
In 1938, Hyde traveled to India to attend the International Missionary Conference in Madras. Her scrapbook from that trip is currently housed in the Laskey Research Library's archival collection, and provides a wealth of insight into her experience. The scrapbook begins with her journey to India and includes photos of many of the delegates in attendance, such as D.T. Niles and C.F. Andrews.
Most striking, however, is the portion of her scrapbook that highlights her sightseeing adventures. Hyde used her free time to visit important educational and missionary ventures—and tucked on a page among her travel photos is a photo she captured of Mahatma Gandhi.