The Lane College Memphis Alumni Chapter may be the most active alumni association connected to the Jackson, Tenn.-based college, says Mt. Olive Cathedral CME Church Pastor Peris J. Lester I, a Lane College alum.
“Each year at homecoming, we raise $100,000 to donate to Lane College. This includes fundraisers, individual giving, matching-dollar donation campaigns, just a combination of many efforts to support our school.”
This Sunday (March 31) is “Lane College Day” all day at Mt. Olive. During the regularly scheduled worship service at 10:30 a.m., Lane College President Dr. Logan Hampton will be the featured guest speaker, and the Lane College Concert Choir will render several music selections.
At 3 p.m., the concert choir will stage a culminating performance to its Spring Concert Tour.
Since being named the 10th President of Lane College in June of 2014, Hampton has targeted improvements in such areas as student enrollment and retention and has implemented strategies to increase donations to the college.
His tenure also has reflected a greater emphasis on the school’s Christian origins to improve both the students’ academic performance and campus experience.
“In the early days of African-American higher education, there was no separation between learning and worship, or faith and intellect,” said Hampton.
“Lane College, with its sacred history and commitment to preparing lifelong learners, affords each of us – faculty, staff and administration – the opportunity to employ our gifts, talents, and knowledge as we equip our students for their work in building the kingdom of God and serving humanity.
“This continues to be our message as ambassadors of our school and our faith.”
Lester said Hampton’s “emphasis on the strong relationship in the past to the Christian faith certainly enriches the college experience for our children.”
Lane College was founded by a former slave, Bishop Isaac Lane, of the Colored Methodist Church, in 1882. The school’s planning actually began in 1878, but the founding of the college was delayed by a yellow fever epidemic in the region that year.
Lane was established to educate newly freed slaves with an original curriculum focused on the “preparation of teachers and preachers.”