Martin Luther King Memorial Calls Attention to Influence Benjamin A. Mays Had on King, Says Author
Dereck J. Rovaris Sr. describes mentor impact in “Mays and Morehouse: How Benjamin E. Mays developed Morehouse College 1940-1966.”
Dereck J. Rovaris Sr., a vice chancellor at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, says that the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington, DC calls attention to how Benjamin E. Mays, president of Morehouse College for 27 years, helped mold King’s ideas.
King was a student and close friend of Dr. Mays, and considered Mays to be his spiritual mentor and “one of the great influences in my life.”
“Mays and Morehouse: How Benjamin E. Mays Developed Morehouse College 1940-1966,” is the first published book-length biography of Mays. Released by Beckham Publications Group http://beckhamhouse.com in 2006, it is now available on Kindle. http://tinyurl.com/6mccwa6
Rovaris relied on interviews with those who knew Mays as well as primary and secondary sources. He presents a view of a giant representing human dignity, perseverance, dedication and spiritual harmony to many.
Mays is best remembered as the developer of Morehouse College. Under his direction, Morehouse became the fourth college in Georgia to house a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. The college’s early admission program, created by Mays and adopted by the Ford Foundation as a national model, attracted Martin Luther King Jr., Maynard H. Jackson, and Walter Massey to Morehouse—all from the tenth grade.
Rovaris (biography - PDF) chronicles how Mays himself was a mentor to an entire generation of African-American leaders including Dr. Charles Willie, the Harvard sociologist; Maynard Jackson, Former Mayor of Atlanta; Dr. Samuel Dubois Cook, former president of Dillard University; Lerone Bennett, for senior editor of Ebony magazine; Dr. Louis Sullivan, former Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Walter Massey, for president of Morehouse College and former director of the Nation Science Foundation.
In “Mays and Morehouse: How Benjamin E. Mays Developed Morehouse College 1940-1966,” Rovaris’ aim is to illuminate a great figure in higher education and to encourage further research and study in this neglected area of higher education. This valuable resource takes an in-depth look at Mays, his life before, during and after Morehouse, as well as the accomplishments and changes his life spurred on.
This biography looks not only at Mays’ life but also examines his writings which told so much about the man and his aspirations for the college as well as the nation.
Says Rovaris: “Few historians have focused on the contributions of the educational leaders at traditionally black colleges have made not only to black higher education, but also to the larger field of American higher education.”
- Contact Information
- Douglas Albany
- Beckham Publications
- (1) 301-384-7995
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