We Survived To Return (Reunion, 1995)

The Basic College of Fisk University, founded on the belief that many potential leaders are lost to the country because promising individuals often do not get the opportunity for superior training and full developement, was a liberal arts program allowing a few exceptional students each year to proceed more rapidly to the Bachelor's and Master's degrees than would otherwise be possible.

A student was allowed to enter Basic college after completing the 10th, 11th or 12th grade and entered the Honors Program to prepare for the Junior year in college in fewer years than would normally be required. Admission and scholarships were based on high school records, recommedations and the results of national examinations.

Basic college students were part of the University and shared in the many cultural events of the campus. They joined a number of campus organizations as well as independent groups designed especially for their first years of college life.

During the junior and senior years, BCs, as they came to be called, were fully integrated into the fabric of the University and were graduated as a part of the senior class to take their places in contemporary society.

This year, for the first time, BCs returned to the campus for a reunion with others who had entered the program in the years from 1951-55. Having entered the University when fifteen or sixteen years old, these students truly "grew up" on Fisk's campus. Despite the many years since, the original BC experience had been sufficiently unique for each to feel a kinship that transcends time and distance. Many had not seen each other since graduation and fondly renewed former contacts and relationships. Future reunions are in the planning stage.

Transcribed from "Preserving the Fisk Magnolias", " The Fisk News", vol. 57,#1, page 41 . A publication of the GAAFU, Inc., Joan Adams Bahner, ed., Henry Ponder, University President.


  • We have been busy identifying and locating missing classmates. If you have any information on former BCs, e-mail Wes Norton so that he can forward the information to Ron Swann and the Alumni Office at Fisk. Only a few remain who have not been located.

  • Those of you who have received a recent (Oct. '96) mailing from the BCHP Committee are aware of the major project, recording our memories of our days at Fisk on audio tape. This is an important venture ...... we will compile and archive these tapes as a chronicle of an experimental program that produced significant results. If you did not receive a letter recently, LET US KNOW! A questionnaire was included as a guide to topics we would like covered.

  • Our last reunion was at graduation, '99, where our exiled classmate, Dr. Preston T. King was given an honorary Doctorate. The concensus was that a more frequent schedule of meetings was needed. Stay tuned for the upcoming dates. .

  • Now that our 1997 reunion is history, many new concerns have been raised and projects started. I will summarize these proceedings at a later date. Stay tuned.


    Thanks to Dr. John Springer, we are now officially linked to the Fisk University Server.
    Many thanks to our classmate Dr. Jane Fort for spotting some "typos" I overlooked.

    Necrology: Joan Carpenter Cashin, August 30, 1997.

    This page is maintained by Wes Norton, BC '52.

    E-mail Wes

    Last Update: Nov 1, 1999