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1869 established, Rust College. 150 Rust Ave. 1905 founded, Mississippi Industrial College. N. Memphis St., north of W. Valley Ave.

Rust College is the nation’s oldest Methodist college for black students and, along with Tougaloo College (JM71), the oldest institution of higher learning for African Americans in Mississippi. In 1869, the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Church erected the first building on the campus and staffed it with white missionaries from northern states. The school was named in honor of the Reverend Richard S. Rust, the Freedman’s Aid Society’s first general field superintendent. Most college functions were contained in the five-story Romanesque Revival Rust Hall, which burned in January 1940. It was replaced by the McCoy Administration Building in 1947 to the designs of Poundstone, Ayers and Godwin of Atlanta, who apparently modeled it on Frederick Douglass Memorial Hall (c. 1935) at Howard University, itself a re-interpretation of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Behind the administration building is the Leontyne Price Library (1969), a Brutalist concrete-frame structure with brick infill designed by Gassner, Nathan, Browne of Memphis.

In 1905, Elias Cottrell, a former slave and a Methodist bishop, led a drive by the Mississippi Conference of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church to establish the Mississippi Industrial College for black students. His school’s most significant buildings lie along a north-south ridge west of N. Memphis Street. Heavner and McGee of Jackson, Tennessee, designed Hammond Hall (1907) and Washington Hall (1910). The Carnegie Auditorium (1923) by the African American firm of Mc-Kissack and McKissack of Nashville includes two thousand seats; subsequent to the college’s closure in 1982, various restoration efforts for the auditorium have failed.

Writing Credits

Jennifer V.O. Baughn and Michael W. Fazio with Mary Warren Miller


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Jennifer V.O. Baughn and Michael W. Fazio with Mary Warren Miller, "RUST COLLEGE AND MISSISSIPPI INDUSTRIAL COLLEGE", [Holly Springs, Mississippi], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Mississippi, Jennifer V. O. Baughn and Michael W. Fazio. With Mary Warren Miller. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2021, 149-150.

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