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Tougaloo College


Historical Information

Tougaloo College, located in Jackson, Mississippi, is a historically black, private, liberal arts institution that was at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi.

Tougaloo College was founded in 1869 by the American Missionary Association of New York and served to train young people, regardless of their religious beliefs, for the benefit of their citizens. It was first chartered in 1871 and named "Tougaloo University". The "Normal Department" of Tougaloo served as a teacher training school until 1892, at which time it no longer received state funding. In 1916, Tougaloo University was renamed Tougaloo College. In 1954, Tougaloo College was merged with the Southern Christian Institute due to the similarity in their missions and goals. This institution was named Tougaloo Southern Christian College. In 1962, the name was changed back to Tougaloo College.

Tougaloo College committed itself to both educational advancement and the improvement of race relations in Mississippi. In the 1960s, it was at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi and served as a safe space for activists in the movement and for discussing strategies to end segregation and improve race relations.

Today, Tougaloo College serves a global community of learners and maintains its focus on the liberal arts, dedication to equality, and affiliation with the church.


About. (2019). Tougaloo College. Retrieved from:


Our History. (2019). Tougaloo College. Retrieved from:

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Helen Bass Williams papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 310
Overview This collection includes documents, correspondence, published materials, photographs, and audio recordings collected and created by Helen Bass Williams that document her personal life, education, and her work as a civil rights activist in the South, educator, and counselor and professor at Purdue University.
Dates: 1915 - 2004; Majority of material found within circa 1960s and 1970s