Dr. Rhoads was the first black president
of Bishop. In 1929 he moved to Marshall to assume the presidency and
remained there until his death in 1951. He was an astute dresser, and
he had a sharp mind. He thoroughly integrated the faculty from predominantly
white to an equal number of white and black staff members.
President Rhoads brought in some great preachers to develop a theological
school. It was just outstanding. Out of that setting, Bishop College
produced so many great, great souls ---- especially in religion. We
produced teachers and preachers at Bishop. Also, the L.K. Williams Ministers
Annual Institute was a big time for us.
Our most popular teacher was Dr. Melvin J. Banks. Everyone wanted to
go to his class and he stayed with Bishop over fifty years. He was a
good historian and a good storyteller. He could paint a picture with
words and make you think you were at the place of action in whatever
historical event you were studying.
If everyone wanted to be in Dr. Banksı class, the most feared class
was Miss Augusta McSwainıs humanities course covering topics ranging
from arias to architecture. She had many failing students each semester.
Miss McSwain was also a musician and the choir director. During my freshman
year in 1946, we were in the chapel and all stood for the choir to perform
the Hallelujah Chorus at Christmas time. It was the first time I heard
it, and I will never forget that. I play it every year now.
I was proud to be a part of the staff. I started teaching classes in
my sophomore year. I was a mature student who had been in the Army.
I taught Social Studies, some education courses, and a humanities course
that dealt with the fine arts. Later I served as Bishop Collegeıs Registrar.
We never had enough money. When payday came, instead of getting all
of our money, weıd get half of our salary and that happened frequently
even before we moved to Dallas. We decided to move to Dallas because
of this in September of 1961. Things were rosy for a while until 1986.
We lost accreditation then and things went downhill. Some say the deterioration
was due to the management style of Dr. Milton K. Curry who overbuilt
We just worked out of love. If you love something you stick with it.
I wasnıt the only one who stayed there for many years, but Iım the one
left standing. The bankruptcy court hired me to be in charge of Bishop
College student records which Iım still doing. Otherwise, records would
have been stored away. Fortunately, no student has suffered.
J. D. Hurd
P.O. Box 411238
Dallas, Texas 75241
BA, May 27, 1949
Major: Social Studies
1947, Bishop College faculty member
1952-present Director, Bishop College Registrarıs Office
Mr. Hurd currently serves as Registrar
in charge of Bishop College records at Paul Quinn College. To request
a Bishop College transcript, send money order ($5 per copy) to P.O.
Box 411238, Dallas, Texas 75241.