Edward Waters College Celebrates its 150th Anniversary

Last Updated on May 26, 2023

President Nathaniel Glover addresses Edward Waters College faculty, staff, students the university’s 150th anniversary kick-off event.
President Nathaniel Glover addresses EWC faculty, staff, students and alumni during the university’s 150th anniversary kick-off event.

In 2016, Edward Waters College will be commemorating its 150th anniversary and will be celebrating the momentous milestone with a yearlong celebration. The exciting kick-off event included a balloon release and celebratory cake-cutting on Wednesday, January 20th on the Centennial Lawn.

President Nathaniel Glover, EWC faculty, staff, students, and alumni held a brief program honoring the rich history of Florida’s oldest historically black college and private institution of higher learning. There were spirited performances by the Triple Threat Marching Band and EWC Concert Choir. The program concluded with the release of 150 biodegradable purple and orange balloons and cake-cutting.

Formerly named Brown’s Theological Institute, EWC was founded in 1866 by the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church to educate newly emancipated slaves.  The school met the needs of its community by offering courses at the elementary, high school, college and seminary levels. Construction on the first building began in 1872 on ten acres of land in Live Oak, Florida.

In 1892, the school's name was changed to Edward Waters College in honor of the third Bishop of the AME Church. The school moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1893 where the campus was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1901. In 1904, the Board of Trustees purchased the present site of the school on Kings Road where it was rebuilt.

Decades later, Edward Waters College continues to educate students of all races and religions. The College continues its mission of advancing students in a global society through excellence of scholarship, research, and service for the betterment of humanity.

Source: Edward Waters College Office of Institutional Advancement

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