The Bishop College motto Fiat Lux means
"let there be light". Like the first chapter of Genesis, there was light
at Bishop. Any school that came out in 1881 (not quite twenty years
out of slavery) with such a focus will always be great.
I first learned of Bishop while spending part of my childhood in Louisiana
where Grambling or Southern were the usual schools discussed. I met
a young man who was telling me about the stimulating challenges he had
encountered at Bishop. I then started dreaming of going to Bishop.
Bishop did not have fraternities and sororities on campus. There were
some fraternities a man my color could't get into. If we are going to
behave that way amongst ourselves, how are we going to criticize the
Bishop was the only black school I attended, and I don't grieve going
to Bishop. It was not that I wouldn't study; I would study too much.
My goal was always to press forward. Around small private schools like
Bishop, the students were challenged to fully push themselves in the
direction they want to go. This work ethic prepared me for masters level
work at Crozier Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and my doctoral
work at Southern Methodist University. I was the only Negro in my class
at Crozier and the whites would constantly ask, "Where is that?" It
would vex me. And I'd answer, "You don't need to know Bishop. Wherever
you see me, you see Bishop."
I returned to Bishop as a faculty member in 1959. It became my job to
help students find the incentive to push themselves. At Bishop you never
had many students. We had about 2,000 students when we broke ground
in Dallas. Bishop provided the light --- a great opportunity --- for
all people who would come to avail themselves of a good education.
Dr. Leroy Seals
BA in 1955
BD/MD Master of Historical Thought and Church History
SMU Master of Liberal Arts and DBM
Bishop College faculty member