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A Tradition of Leadership in the Church and the World

Few schools of any kind have had as much influence on American culture and values as Andover Newton. Since our establishment in 1807 our graduates have founded churches, schools, seminaries, and colleges, transformed American education, fought on the front lines of abolition and civil rights, served as college presidents, and created links between people of many backgrounds and faith traditions.

Here are a few of them.

Adoniram Judson, class of 1810, was one of the first U.S. missionaries sent by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. His work as a Congregationalist, and later Baptist, missionary in what was then called Burma continues to inspire Christian communities in modern Myanmar.

Thomas Gallaudet, class of 1814, was the principal developer for what became American Sign Language and a pioneer in education for the Deaf. He established the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, Connecticut, a K-12 school that was the first of its kind, and one of his sons established Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the first school of higher education specially designed for the Deaf and hearing-impaired.

Hiram Bingham and Asa Thurston, class of 1816, were the first missionaries to Hawaii, where they devised an alphabet for written Hawaiian language. Bingham’s direct descendants included another missionary to Hawaii, Hiram Bingham II; a U.S. senator and archaeologist, Hiram Bingham III, who unearthed the lost Incan city of Machu Picchu; and a U.S. Vice Consul to France, Hiram Bingham IV, who rescued Jews from deportation to Nazi concentration camps.

Francis Wayland entered Andover Theological Seminary in 1816, but financial hardships prevented his completing his studies. He later helped establish the Newton Theological Institution. Like three later Newton alumni, Wayland served as president of Brown University, holding the position for 28 years. He is the namesake of the city of Wayland, Massachusetts, and was a founder of the Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

David Oliver Allen, class of 1824, was an American missionary to India. He published tracts in the Marathi language and supervised a Bible translation in that language. Upon his return to the United States in the 1850s, he wrote a history of India.

Calvis Ellis Stowe, class of 1828, was a creator of the American public school system, publishing widely on issues of public education and establishing the College of Teachers in Cincinnati, Ohio. He later taught on the faculty at Andover. He was a prominent abolitionist and an enthusiastic supporter of his wife Harriet Beecher Stowe’s literary career, which included the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Bela Bates Edwards, class of 1830, was editor of the American Quarterly Observer, the Biblical Repository, and Bibliotheca Sacra.

William Adams, class of 1830, was a co-founder of Union Theological Seminary in New York City and later served as its president.

Caleb Mills, class of 1833, is considered the father of public education in Indiana and is the namesake of the Caleb Mills Teaching Award, the highest faculty honor bestowed by Indiana State University. He was a founder and the first faculty member and principal of Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

Samuel Francis Smith, class of 1834, was a Baptist minister who wrote the words to “America” or “My Country, ’Tis of Thee” while still a student at the Andover campus. His dormitory, now known as America House, is still in use at Phillips Academy.

George Frederick Magoun, class of 1847, was co-founder and the first president of Grinnell College in Iowa.

George Park Fisher, class of 1851, was a church historian and president of the American Historical Association.

Charles Augustus Aiken, class of 1853, was a noted Latin professor at Dartmouth, the sixth president of Union College, and later taught at Princeton Theological Seminary.

William Jewett Tucker, class of 1866, later taught on faculty at Andover. He was also acclaimed at his death as “the great president” who transformed Dartmough College from a small, rural, regional school into a major Ivy League University. The Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth was established to carry on his legacy on campus.

George Trumbull Ladd, class of 1869, was an American philosopher, educator, and psychologist who helped develop ties between the United States and Japan in the late 19th century.

Joseph Hardy Neesima attended Andover from 1870-74 and became the first Japanese person ordained as a Protestant minister. He was later founder and president of Doshisha University in Japan.

Albert Edward Winship entered Andover Theological Seminary in 1875 but did not graduate. He became editor of the Journal of Education in 1886, helping it become one of the most influential magazines on education in the country.

Claude Black, class of 1943 (pictured at top), was pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, a civil rights icon, and the first black Mayor Pro Tem of San Antonio, Texas.

Lucius Walker, class of 1958, was an outspoken opponent of the American trade embargo against Cuba. He helped found the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, aka Pastors for Peace and received the Gandhi Peace Award in 1993 for years of humanitarian service at home and abroad.

Veronica “Ronny” Lanier, class of 1969, was one of the first African-American women ordained within the American Baptist Churches USA. She touched the lives of thousands during her decades of ministry, religious education, and hospitality to Baptist missionaries. The Lanier Mission House is named in her honor.

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