Civil Rights Movement Icon Visits McCallie School

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Civil Rights activist John Lewis visited McCallie on Tuesday.
Civil Rights activist John Lewis visited McCallie on Tuesday.

As a boy, John Lewis could not check out a book from the Troy, Ala., public library because of the color of his skin. In 1955, as a 15-year-old, he first heard about Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Today, 59 years later, Congressman Lewis is the only living member of the “Big Six” leaders from the Civil Rights Movement which included Dr. King. As chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Rep. Lewis helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, which was the occasion of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. He was the youngest speaker that day at age 23 and the last surviving speaker from the March.

Rep. Lewis visited the McCallie School Tuesday as the school’s inaugural “Mandela Fellow.” McCallie alumnus Bob Eager ’63 started the Mandela Fund in 2013. 

“The Mandela Fund was established to advance students’ understanding of what it means to be, like Nelson Mandela, an agent of hope, reconciliation and social justice in a community, the nation or the world,” Mr. Eager said.

The foundation for the Fund is grounded in McCallie’s guiding principles – “Honor, Truth, Duty” – exemplified in Mr. Mandela’s life and leadership. The Fund intends to complement and reinforce the school’s mission of preparing young men to make a positive difference in their world. 

Rep. Lewis was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1986 and has been reelected 13 times. He has met or worked with every U.S. president since John F. Kennedy.

Rep. Lewis gave a morning talk to the Upper School student body in the Chapel. He shared personal stories and experiences in an AP U.S. history class and an African-American history class. During the lunch hour, he led a student discussion forum. 

“Never give in, never give up,” he said, as part of his main message to the students. “Do not be afraid to speak up when you see something wrong. We are all part of one family, the human family.”

Rep. Lewis first met Dr. King in 1958. In fact, Dr. King helped Rep. Lewis get into Peabody College in Nashville, he said. He also met Mr. Mandela who told him he was well aware of his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. 

And the Troy library? Rep. Lewis finally returned there in 1998 for a book signing of one of his three books.

Sorority Feeds A Multitude For Thanksgiving

Every year, Gamma Theta Sigma Chapter selects a few families to bless with a meal for Thanksgiving Day.  This year, the sorority decided to make a larger impact by blessing the “House that Love Built” with a monetary donation to Mary’s Pantry.  "The timing was perfect because the donation will be doubled thanks to two donors who committed to match donations to help the ... (click for more)

Von Streber Named Crosby Scholar

Lee University student Guilherme von Streber was the recipient of the 2015 Crosby Scholarship, presented by Lee President Dr. Paul Conn during a chapel service.  The Crosby Scholarship was established to honor the memory of Dr. Henry Crosby, a close friend of Dr. Conn and his wife Darlia. Faculty members nominate a young man entering his junior year for the scholarship. ... (click for more)

Christina Strickland, 35, Shot On Thursday

Christina Strickland, 35, was shot on Thursday.  Chattanooga Police were informed that a shooting victim had arrived by personal vehicle at a local hospital. A Violent Crimes investigator responded and interviewed her. She  suffered a single non-life threatening injury to the ankle. She  was unable to provide any information about her location when she was injured ... (click for more)

Family Escapes Early Morning House Fire

A home was damaged by fire early Thursday morning.  The Chattanooga Fire Department received a fire call at  3:48  a.m.  and responded to 1825 Dixon Street with four fire companies. The family inside the home was awakened by a passerby knocking at the door. All of them quickly made their way outside the home to safety.  Once firefighters ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Why I Am Thankful, 2015

I can’t really remember when I first started this – sometime in the 1970s – but my favorite column every year comes during Thanksgiving when I literally pause and use my fingers to thank God for all His richest blessings. The year 2015 has been bountiful so here are just a few of the things I will carry in my heart as I take my place at today’s table: I AM THANKFUL that tomorrow, ... (click for more)