Storer College 150th Anniversary in 2017

Archived Page

Please note this page is no longer current but is still active to showcase the highlights and events of the 150th anniversary of Storer College which was recognized in 2017.
Storer College seal in black and white; says Storer College 1867, Labor Omnia Vincit; with drawing of Jefferson Rock in the middle
Storer College seal; original artwork by Louise Wood Brackett, Freewill Baptist Missionary to Storer College and wife of the school's first principal and president.

Scanned from the 1955 commencement program of Storer College, then digitally traced and enhanced by NPS staff

In 2017, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park commemorated the 150th anniversary of the founding of Storer College. Throughout the year the park hosted special events and programs that told the history of Storer College and recognized the legacy of the institution, which was the first school in West Virginia to welcome students of all backgrounds.

Links of interest:

Storer College Sesquicentennial Commemoration, Schedule of Events

February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October

Education and the Struggle for Equality
Date: February 5, 2017
Time: 2 pm
Location: Mather Training Center
Description: Kick-off for the Storer College Sesquicentennial year. Storer College presentation by Ranger Guinevere Roper with a reception following the program.
Link to the video of the event (via Periscope)
African American woman dressed in early 1900s garb; speaking at a pulpit
Ilene Evans portrays Coralie Franklin Cook

NPS Photo/Autumn Cook

Lifting as We Climb
Date: February 12, 2017
Time: 2 pm
Location: Curtis Freewill Baptist Church
Description: Ilene Evans, a storyteller, performer, and scholar, will present a 90-minute dramatic program of the life of Storer College graduate and Civil Rights pioneer, Coralie Franklin Cook.

Storer College: A Legacy of Light and Learning
Date: February 19, 2017
Time: 2 pm
Location: Mather Training Center
Description: Join filmmaker Midge Flinn Yost for a discussion and showing of her film "Storer College: A Legacy of Light and Learning."

Soul Food Tasting Program
Date: February 26, 2017
Time: 3 pm
Location: Charles Town, Saint Philip’s Episcopal Church
Description: Savor a variety of delightful dishes at the annual Black History Soul Food Tasting program. Sponsored by the Jefferson County branch of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), this year’s program highlights the Storer College Sesquicentennial commemoration. Prior to the tasting, Park Ranger Guinevere Roper will share a slideshow presentation on the history of the college. Hosted by the Judea Community Christian Church, this program will take place at the Saint Philip’s Episcopal Church, located at 411 South Lawrence Street, Charles Town, WV.
early 1900s image of six women and two men sitting on the steps of a building
A group portrait of Storer College faculty, most of whom were funded by the Free Baptist Woman's Missionary Society.

West Virginia & Regional History Center

Missionaries and Money: How Free Baptist Women Influenced Storer College
Date: March 18, 2017
Time: 2 pm
Location: Mather Training Center
Description: Discover the history of the women who worked tirelessly to raise money for Storer College’s buildings’ fund and of those who were the missionary teachers from the 1870s to the 1910s.

Music is the Voice of the Soul
Date: March 31, 2017
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Curtis Freewill Baptist Church
Description: Legendary pianist Bertha Hope will present a concert in tribute to Women's History Month and the Storer College Sesquicentennial.

Preservation, Education, and Promulgation
Jazz Appreciation Month Program with Bertha Hope and Howard Burns
Date: April 1, 2017
Time: 10:30 am
Location: Mather Training Center
Description: In 1987, Congress passed legislation recognizing "jazz as a rare and valuable national treasure." Join us as jazz saxophonist Howard Burns and legendary pianist Bertha Hope discuss this unique American art form.

They Made a Difference
Dates: April 17-21, 2017
Time: 2 pm
Location: Lower Town, John Brown Museum, Allies for Freedom Room
Description: Join a park ranger for special National Park Week programs which will connect Harpers Ferry's civil rights stories to other national park sites.
engraving of Reverend Morrell
Reverend Alexander Hatch Morrell

The Free Baptist Cyclopaedia, 1889

The Search for Alexander Morrell
Date: May 7, 2017
Time: 2 pm
Location: Curtis Freewill Baptist Church
Description: Is Reverend Alexander Morrell buried in Harpers Ferry, where he dedicated his life to Storer College? Find out about the search for the good reverend's final resting place.

From Shackles to Scholars: Discovering New Life Through Education
Date: May 22-29, 2017
Location: Lower Town
Description: A student art exhibition for the Storer College sesquicentennial.

A Landscape Through Time: The Historical Development of Camp Hill
Date: May 27, 2017
Time: 1 pm to 3 pm
Location: Lower Town, Information Center
Description: Opening reception. This exhibit will explore the historical development of Camp Hill, featuring its early use by the U.S. Armory, during the conflict of the Civil War, then as the campus for Storer College, and, finally, as part of the National Park System today.

A History of “Anniversary Day” at Storer College
Date: May 28, 2017
Time: 2 pm
Location: Camp Hill
Description: Walk the grounds of Storer College with a park ranger to trace the steps of the students, teachers, and trustees of the school and learn how they celebrated graduation.
African American man sitting, smiling, with pen and paper in hand
Don Redman

West Virginia & Regional History Center

16th Annual Don Redman Jazz Heritage Awards and Concert
Date: June 24, 2017
Time: 6 pm
Location: Camp Hill, Mather Training Center Lawn
Description: The event and concert commemorate Don Redman, the internationally acclaimed and influential 1920 graduate of Storer College, and honor living legends of jazz. The concert features special guests and the 2017 Honorees, Barry Harris and Rufus Reid, along with the Howard Burns Quartet. The program will also feature music by the 2017 Don Redman Next Generation Jazz Scholars.

For Freedom and Dignity: Voices from Storer College
Date: July 22, 2017
Time: 7 pm
Location: Meet outside Mather Training Center
Description: Join park rangers and explore the rich history of Storer College. Proper footwear encouraged. Approximately 1/2 mile of walking involved during this 1.5 hour program.
artistic rendition of the Niagara Movement men walking to John Brown's Fort
"Marching to a Monument for Freedom" - artwork depicting the Niagara Movement's pilgrimage to John Brown's Fort

Artist/Richard Fitzhugh

Niagara Movement Pilgrimage to John Brown's Fort
Date: August 20, 2017
Time: 8 am
Locations: Murphy-Chambers Farm and Curtis Freewill Baptist Church
Description: Retrace the footsteps of the men and women of Niagara during this commemorative walk to the site of John Brown's Fort in 1906. A 10am memorial service will follow at the Curtis Freewill Baptist Church.

Revelations in Research, Storer College Edition
Date: September 16, 2017
Time: 2 pm
Location: Lower Town, John Brown Museum, Allies for Freedom Room
Description: How do park rangers know the history of Storer College? Join rangers for a presentation about how they conduct research and what they have found concerning Storer College.

150th Anniversary Storer College Commemoration
Dates: October 6-8, 2017
Time: Oct 6, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM; Oct 7, 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM; Oct 8, 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Location: Camp Hill
Description: A weekend of special tours, programs, drama, and music will highlight the sesquicentennial of the founding of Storer College. Please see the detailed schedule for a full list of programs, presentations, and performances.

News Releases about Storer College 150th events

Loading results...

    Last updated: December 8, 2017

    Park footer

    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
    National Park Service
    PO Box 65

    Harpers Ferry, WV 25425


    304 535-6029

    Contact Us