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.


Early College Lays Solid Foundation To Success

Spring City native Rebecca Hilleary is a 2014 graduate of the Early College program at ChattState and has gone on to major in clinical research at Campbell University in North Carolina. She hasn’t slowed down since graduating with her associate degree in pre-health from ChattState and plans to graduate with her doctorate in pharmacy in 2020. Rebecca graduated with her associate ... (click for more)

Lee Hosts Latin American And Iberian Studies Conference

Lee University’s Department of Language & Literature hosted its sixth annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Latin American and Iberian Studies. The purpose of the conference is to promote academic excellence among undergraduate students and to bring together students and professors from a wide variety of disciplines including languages, humanities, and history. This year, ... (click for more)

First 8 Schools To Receive Volkswagen eLabs Are Named

Volkswagen Group of America, Chattanooga Operations and the State of Tennessee have named the first eight Hamilton County Department of Educatio schools to receive science laboratory equipment as part of the Volkswagen eLabs initiative.   Administered by the Public Education Foundation, Volkswagen eLabs will provide students access to digital fabrication tools including ... (click for more)

Former County Jailer Pleads "No Contest" In Cancer Faking Case

A former Hamilton County corrections officer pleaded no contest on Monday to charges that he got time off from work and donations from co-workers after he faked having cancer. Dale Daniel was granted diversion through an agreement with the district attorney's office. The charges will go off his record if he does not get into any further trouble for a year. Daniel will have ... (click for more)

Don't Clog Up The Last Remaining Semi-Unobstructed Route Into Town From North Of The River

The proposal to turn Hixson Pike in Riverview into a more pedestrian friendly street is more than absurd.   Let's be honest. This is the last semi-unobstructed route into town from north of the river, due to I-27 construction and the bike lane/parking lot that is North Market Street.  So, now the businesses in Riverview would like parking on this main artery? ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: New Orleans Slaps History

It was balmy and relatively quiet on Sunday afternoon in New Orleans. The flowers of spring were in full flush on Canal Street and, as darkness began to cloak the city, no one was aware that a cadre of police snipers was quietly setting up in a hotel parking garage across from the Liberty Place monument. Shortly after 1 a.m. yesterday morning, a number of large trucks rumbled past ... (click for more)