NASHVILLE, TN — Scarritt Bennett Center will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Scarritt educational legacy with a Homecoming Weekend October 12th – 15th.
Alumni, faculty and friends will celebrate the contributions Scarritt College and its associated institutions have made to community life within Nashville, across the nation and around the globe since 1892.
As a college and graduate school the institution closed in 1987. In 1988, the United Methodist Women secured title to the campus and organized Scarritt Bennett Center (SBC). Focused on empowerment of women, radical hospitality, and the eradication of racism, SBC is a retreat, educational and conference center serving local, national and inter- national constituencies.
Over Homecoming weekend the Center will host an International Celebration Dinner, a Decades Dinner and provide other opportunities for alumni, friends and faculty to meet and greet at afternoon teas, renewing practices which were central to campus life while celebrating the ground-breaking international, multi-cultural/ ethnic/ racial make-up of the student body, and Scarritt-Bennett’s continuing role and initiatives.
On Friday morning, guests will visit John Early Museum Magnet Middle Prep School to see an exhibit on Civil Rights and Public Schools Desegregation in Nashville. The school’s museum houses thousands of cultural artifacts which were sent home by Scarritt alumni from around the earth. These have been contributed to John Early for use in their museum education program for middle school children. On Friday afternoon three alumni will direct a “Real Nashville” tour. This is designed to draw attention to such issues as the loss of affordable housing, problems of education and criminalization faced by poor and minority youth, increasing inequality of income, traffic congestion and other social problems related to rapid growth, demographic changes, and infrastructure shortfalls. The historic and current roles played by members of the Scarritt community and the responses which have emerged from Scarritt Bennett will be highlighted.
“Scarritt has had a major impact in Nashville and the world. We have an amazing legacy that many Nashvillians have little idea about. For example, among many historic initiatives, for example, in 1952 Scarritt became the first formerly white private college in Tennessee to desegregate. In 1957, Dr. Martin Luther King was invited and spoke on campus . This is a place where people have dared for the good of us all, stepping out in faith in the face of fury. Our times call for no less. We hope many people will take this opportunity to learn more . This is the little school that not only could, but did, and with attention and support, will again,” stated Jim Polk, Chair of the Alumni Association.
On Saturday, Scarritt will be two concerts that are free and open to the public in Wightman Chapel. A Jazz Worship Celebration will be held at 9:00 am and the Peaceable World Concert will be held at 4:00 pm featuring Clark United Methodist and Belmont United Methodist choirs.
For more information on Scarritt Bennett or October’s Homecoming events visit the Scarritt Bennett Center website at www.scarrittbennett.org.