Walking with Giants:
The ASALH Presidents
Over the last ninety-six years, ASALH has been led by a
distinguished list of presidents who have left a legacy for
not only ASALH but also the society at large.  Our
Founder, Carter G. Woodson, was a strong personality
who succeeded because he had the ability to convince
other strong, capable people to trod the path with him.  
The ASALH tradition is to walk with giants.

The first president, George Cleveland Hall , was a
physician and civic leader in Chicago.  For decades his
was a moving force at Provident Hospital, which served
the city's burgeoning black population in the age of
black migrations.  A Vice-President of the National Urban
League, and an early member of the NAACP, Hall was a
tireless leader for black rights.  Robert E. Park, who
followed him, took the presidency after working as the
secretary and ghost writer for Booker T. Washington
and joining the faculty at the University of Chicago and
establishing what became known as the Chicago School
of Sociology.  The only white president of the
Association, Park trained  black sociologists such as
Charles S. Johnson and E. Franklin Frazier, two legends
of black sociology.  John Hope was the first African
American president of what became Morehouse College.
 Following him came the giant, Mary McLeod Bethune,
founder of Bethune-Cookman College, and a member
of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal.  Serving
as president for fifteen years, Ms. Bethune provided
continuity, laboring alongside of Woodson through the
Great Depression and into the new era ushered in by
World War II.

Of ASALH's twenty-seven presidents, nine have been
administrators in higher education.  Like Ms. Bethune
and John Hope, Charles Wesley, William Harris, and
Samuel DuBois Cook each served as university
presidents.
*  John R. Hawkins, our third president,
served as head of  Kittrell College in North Carolina in
1886. 20th president, Bettye J. Gardner, and 24th
president, Sheila Y. Flemming-Hunter, have served as
deans at Coppin State University and
Bethune-Cookman College, respectively.  Past President
Robert Harris, Jr. served as Assistant Provost at Cornell
University.

Two of our presidents have served in important
positions in the federal government.  Following the path
established by Ms. Bethune, Andrew Brimmer, whose
doctorate is in economics, served in the administrations
of both John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.
During his presidency at ASALH, he also served as a
governor of the Federal Reserve of the United States,
stewarding the economy of the United States.

Befitting an organization devoted to historical inquiry
and educating youth, Charles Harris Wesley, Lorenzo
Greene, Edgar Toppin, Earl Thorpe, and William Harris
were renowned historians.  President Greene learned his
craft from Woodson.   Others, such as Samuel Banks,
J. Rupert Picott, and  Janette Hoston Harris, dedicated
a significant part of their labor to improving education
at the primary and secondary levels.  For much of his
career, Charles Walker Thomas trained teachers in
Washington, DC.

Finally, with the advent of Black Studies, Robert Harris,
Jr., Gloria Dickinson, and Earl Thorpe have been crucial
in establishing the field on historically white college
campuses.

Please share with us any information and images
you have about ASALH's leadership.  Write me,
Daryl M. Scott, at
dms@asalh.net.
Ninety-Six Years of
Prominent, Dedicated
Leadership
John R. Hawkins
3rd President of ASALH
President, Kittrell College
 
1916-1917    George Cleveland Hall
1917-1920    Robert E. Park
1921-1930    John R. Hawkins
1931-1936    John Hope
1936-1951    Mary McLeod Bethune
1952-1964    Charles Harris Wesley
1965-1966    Lorenzo J. Greene
1966-1967    J. Reuben Sheeler
1968-1970    J. Rupert Picott
1971-1973    Andrew Brimmer
1974-1976    Edgar Toppin
1977-1980    Charles Walker Thomas
1981-1982    Earl E. Thorpe
1983-1984    Samuel L. Banks
1984-1985    Jeanette Cascone (acting)
1986-1988    William Harris
1989-1990    Andrew Brimmer
1991-1993    Robert Harris, Jr.
1993-1995    Janette Hoston Harris
1995-1997    Bettye J. Gardner
1997-1999    Edward Beasley
1999-2001    Samuel DuBois Cook,Sr.
2001-2004    Gloria Harper Dickinson
2004-2006    Sheila Y. Flemming-Hunter
2007-2009    John Fleming
2010-2012   James Stewart
2013   Daryl Michael Scott
*
Mary McLeod Bethune served as
president of Bethune-Cookman College.

Samuel DuBois Cook, Sr served as
president of Dillard University.

William Harris has served as president of
Paine College, Texas Southern University,
and Alabama State University.

John R. Hawkins served as president of
Kittrell College in 1886.

John Hope served as president of
Morehouse College.

Charles Wesley served as president of
Central State University and Wilberforce
University.
Mary McLeod Bethune
5th President of
ASALH
Daryl Michael Scott
28th President of
ASALH