Talladega College







General Wager Swayne of the Freedmen’s Bureau, began in earnest to provide a school for the children of former slaves of the community. Their leadership resulted in the construction of a one-room school house using lumber salvaged from an abandoned carpenter’s shop. The school overflowed with pupils from its opening and soon it was necessary to move into larger quarters. Meanwhile, the nearby Baptist Academy was about to be sold under mortgage default. This building had been built in 1852-53 with the help of slaves - including Savery and Tarrant. A speedy plea was sent to General Swayne for its purchase. General Swayne in turn persuaded the American Missionary Association to buy the building and some 20 acres of land for $23,000. The grateful parents renamed the building Swayne School and it opened in November of 1867 with about 140 pupils. Thus a building constructed with slave labor for white students became the home of the state’s first college dedicated to servicing the educational needs of blacks. In 1869, Swayne School was issued a charter as Talladega College by the Judge of Probate of Talladega County. Alabama’s oldest, private, historically black, liberal arts college, Talladega College continues to offer a unique undergraduate educa


Dr. Oscar L. Prater

History and Goals
Program Information
Program Results
Program Staff
Principal Investigators
Bridge to the Doctorate
2009 BD Magazine
2009 LSAMP Magazine
National Science Foundation
The Alabama Louis Stokes Alliance
for Minority Participation

The history of Talladega College began on November 20, 1865, when two former slaves William Savery and Thomas Tarrant, both of Talladega, met in convention with a group of new freedmen in Mobile, Alabama. From this meeting came the commitment, "...We regard the education of our children and youth as vital to the preservation of our liberties and true religion as the foundation of all real virtue and shall use our utmost endeavors to promote these blessings in our common country."

With this as their pledge, Savery and Tarrant, aided by

Talladega Pres
educational experience. We are committed to maintaining a high standard of academic excellence evidenced through the success of our graduates.

For more than 136 years, Talladega College has been committed to providing individuals with a first-rate education based on academic excellence, leadership development and services to benefit mankind. Talladega has a proven track record of providing a solid foundation for its graduates. The College has been nationally ranked for its success in producing graduates who pursue post-baccalaureate degrees and professional certifications in their various occupations. The Princeton Review, a publisher of college guide books, named Talladega College among the 2005 “Best Colleges in the Southeastern Region.”