A New Tribute to Educator and Civil Rights Icon Benjamin E. Mays

Earlier this month a new statue of Benjamin E. Mays, the educator and civil rights leader was unveiled. The statue is located at the Dr. Benjamin E. Mays Historical Preservation Site near Epworth, South Carolina, near where Dr. Mays was born.

Dr. Mays was a 1920 graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He earned a master’s degree at the University of Chicago in 1925. After working for the National Urban League, Mays returned to the University of Chicago to earn a Ph.D. in 1935 at the age of 40. By this time he was dean of the School of Religion of Howard University in Washington, D.C.

In 1940, Dr. Mays was named president of Morehouse College in Atlanta and served during the tenure there of Martin Luther King Jr. as an undergraduate student. Dr. King called Mays his “spiritual mentor and my intellectual father.” Dr. Mays served as president of Morehouse for 27 years. He died in 1984.

A video about Dr. Mays and the new statue, produced by Bates College, may be viewed below.


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