Rust College

Rust College (HM26QX)

Location: Holly Springs, MS 38635 Marshall County
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Country: United States of America
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N 34° 46.451', W 89° 26.88'

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—Mississippi Freedom Trail —


In 1960 Rust College students, under the leadership of President E. A. Smith, boycotted the segregated HollyTheater, a protest that in 1962 evolved into a Rust chapter of the NAACP. The chapter offices were installed by Medgar Evers, NAACP field secretary. Members founded a Speakers Bureau, fostering voter education/registration, and in 1962 the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee became active on the campus. In 1963 students were active in the Freedom Vote and later the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.


Founded in 1866 under the direction of the Freedom Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Rust College sought as part of its mission to educate emancipated slaves. Since that time the college has held to that principle: to give African American students a solid foundation for their futures in business, law, medicine, education, and other mainstream careers.

As the civil rights movement began in earnest during the 1960s, Rust College president E. A. Smith set an example for activism. Students including later activist Willie Peacock, McLemore and other members of the NAACP boycotted the segregated Holly Theater, a protest that in 1962 evolved into an NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) Youth Chapter

at Rust. In ceremonies on March 12, 1962, NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers installed its officers.

In 1962 five Rust College students made a historic visit to the University of Mississippi to hear newscaster Howard K. Smith speak. They were the first black students on the campus since the graduation of James Meredith earlier that year. The students were Raymond Davis, Walter Evans, Leslie Burl McLemore, John Clinton Morris, and William Delano Scott III.

Also in 1962 SNCC (Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee) became active at Rust, as SNCC field secretary Frank Smith, while living on the Rust College campus, recruited students from both Rust and Mississippi Industrial College. Students formed a Speakers Bureau, visiting rural churches and community centers in Holly Springs and its surrounding area to foster voter registration/education during the Freedom Vote campaign. Students active in the Speakers Bureau included Johnnie Harris, Rose Purdy, Tina Evans Scott, and William Scott. Rust College students were active in the MDFP (Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party) protest at the State Capitol in Jackson.

In 1965 and following years, Rust College President Dr. W. A. McMillan, college administrator Johnny Jackson and others began to integrate public restaurants in Holly Springs. Faculty and students integrated local clinics, doctors' waiting

rooms, and the bus terminal.
HM NumberHM26QX
Series This marker is part of the Mississippi Freedom Trail series
Year Placed2014
Placed ByThe Mississippi Development Authority Tourism Division
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, April 11th, 2018 at 7:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 275979 N 3850731
Decimal Degrees34.77418333, -89.44800000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 46.451', W 89° 26.88'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 46' 27.06" N, 89° 26' 52.8" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)662
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 149-151 Rust Ave, Holly Springs MS 38635, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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