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THE FIRST COLORED Professional, Clerical and Business DIRECTORY OF BALTIMORE CITY 13th Annual Edition, 1925-1926
Volume 488, Page 4   View pdf image (33K)
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DR. J. O. SPENCER (White)

President John Oakley Spencer comes of fine old New England stock. On
his father's side he is descended directly from the Lymans famous in the earliest
history of that section, while through his mother he is connected with a Scotch
Klan that runs far back into the records of Scotland, some of whom early in the
Seventeenth Century came to America and settled partly in Vermont, partly in
northern New York.

President Spencer was bom July 11, 1857, at Lemon, Wyoming County, Penn-
sylvania. He attended the public schools of that section, and when ready entered
Wyoming Seminary, an institution noted at that time for the superior training it
gave to the youth who entered it. After completing his course there he taught in
the public schools of northern Pennsylvania and New York for some time. He
was Principal of Sherbourne Academy and was the organizer of the high school at
Kingston, Pa.

After a college career at Illinois Wesleyan University he went to Japan,
where for 15 years he had distinguished success as the Dean of the Anglo-Japan-
ese College at Tokio. He then returned to America to engage in special study at
Columbia University and rounded out his university life with the doctorate from
Illinois Wesleyan University. His intention to return to Japan was overruled by
the great loss sustained in the death of his wife and one of his sons.

Dr. Spencer then became the Headmaster of the Hudson River Academy from
which position he was called in 1902 to the Presidency of Morgan College. For
the last 23 years he has guided the course of this institution, and in that time has
seen it go from its crowded quarters on Fulton and Edmondson Avenues, and an
enrollment that was very meagre, into a spacious and beautiful suburban loca-
tion of more than sixty acres, and into a student body that is limited now only
by the capacity of its present equipment. He has seen it become recognized as a
first class college, whose graduates are admitted at the best of American Univer-
sities for advanced study. He has seen the sentiment of this community change
from one of indifference and incredulity to one that gives it position and prestige
among its patrons such as is held by institutions of similar high grade in their
several communities.

To the accomplishment of these results President Spencer has given the best
of his life and thought and consecrated purpose. Despite criticism from both
sides of the color line occasional questioning of his sincerity and at times open
hostility he has gone straight ahead until now he is loved and respected by all
citizens of this community who believe that the fullest and highest opportunities
for the development of the intellectual powers of all men must be provided. In
all these endeavors he has been nobly aided by Mrs. Spencer, whom he married
in 1907, and who has been a remarkable influence in widening his vision and
deepening his resolve to give all that he had to the promotion of an institution of
higher learning for the negro, until there shall not be a better one anywhere in
this country.



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THE FIRST COLORED Professional, Clerical and Business DIRECTORY OF BALTIMORE CITY 13th Annual Edition, 1925-1926
Volume 488, Page 4   View pdf image (33K)
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