By Sol Ayala & Claudia Villeda
The Walden Club of Trevecca, an African-American student organization, celebrated the installation of Walden College’s historic marker on campus last week.
“It’s more than just a marker. It’s like an indication that we belong here. It’s like a beacon of hope – It’s very important for black students, especially because as a that people from whom our history was stolen from us, these little nuggets, we must hold on to them because that is what we have,” said Howard Dodd, president of Walden. .
Before Trevecca was on this spot, the hill was home to Walden College, which stood from 1922 to 1925. Although it only existed for a few years, Walden College served as an institution that ” aimed to provide education to freed slaves”.
Several remittance service responders noted that the marker helps people realize that Walden College exists.
Tynaisia Rush, founder of the Walden Club in 2017 and graduate in 2021, and Brodrick Thomas, previously Director of Community Engagement and Reconciliation, returned as speakers for this episode.
Rush spoke about the “lack of black community” at Trevecca during his freshman year, but with the help of Thomas and JV Morsch Center for Social Justice professors like Iris Gordon, assistant professor of social justice, and Jamie Casler, director of social justice, Rush was able to create Walden for black students.
Rush said she needed a space “to feel included, seen, safe and welcomed” in Trevecca. Walden’s name was chosen when she discovered the Hill’s history.
“Bringing the Walden name back meant we needed certain aspects. Our mission was to create a club designed to build community among our black students while encouraging leadership, building connections and helping with retention,” Rush said.
Gordon, who is also Walden’s patron, reminded attendees of the importance of “commemorating, honoring and celebrating” Walden College’s contributions to the communities of Nashville and Trevecca.
Walden will host another event during Homecoming where a more in-depth story about Walden will be shared by Steve Hoskins, Associate Professor of Religion, and Erica Hayden, Associate Professor of History.