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Mays, Benjamin E. (Benjamin Elijah)

b. 1894 - d. 1984

Benjamin Elijah Mays, born in rural South Carolina, was a mentor of Dr. King from King’s student days at Morehouse College to his death. Mays graduated from Bates College in Maine and obtained master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Chicago. He was appointed dean of the School of Religion at Howard University in 1934. In 1940, he became president of Morehouse College, where he remained for 27 years. At Morehouse, Mays convened Tuesday morning Chapel each week to challenge and inspire the students. King traces aspects of his ministerial and spiritual formation to Dr. Mays. A consummate scholar and social critic, Mays offered the benediction at the close of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He also delivered a eulogy of King in Atlanta. Following his tenure at Morehouse, Mays served as president of the Atlanta Board of Education from 1970 to 1981.

Associated Archive Content : 76 results

A Brief Summary of Fifteen Years at Morehouse

This pamphlet is from Dr. King's undergraduate alma mater, Morehouse College. The President of the institute, Benjamin E. Mays, is the author of , "A Brief Summary of Fifteen Years at Morehouse" which outlines the progress made during his presidency.

Business Reply Envelope from Morehouse College

This document is a postcard invitation to a breakfast at Morehouse College. Dr. King served as a member on the Morehouse Board of Trustees.

Draft Speech for Atlanta Nobel Peace Prize Reception

Dr. King drafts a speech that he will make in Atlanta for the reception honoring his Nobel Peace Prize winning. In the speech he offers his gratitude to friends and family who supported him in his efforts. Dr. King also briefly discusses the issue of racial injustice and the continued fight for equality.

Election of MLK to the Morehouse College Board of Trustees

Charles Merrill and Benjamin E. Mays inform the Morehouse College Board of Trustees of Dr. King's consideration for a seat on the Board to replace Dr. Colwell. This consideration is pending if this election does not cause Judge Elbert P. Tuttle to resign his seat on the Board or disqualify himself as an officer of the U. S. Court of Appeal of the Fifth Circuit.

Fundraising Letter from Dr. Benjamin Mays to Dr. MLK, Jr.

Dr. Benjamin Mays, President of Morehouse College sends an urgent request to alumni to assist in furnishing rooms for a newly completed dormitory. As a distinguished alumni of the college, Dr. King is requested to lend financial support to this endeavor.

Invitation from the Council on Human Relations of Greater Atlanta Dinner Meeting

On behalf of the Council on Human Relations of Greater Atlanta, Chairman Mrs. John W. Stanley extends an invitation to an upcoming dinner meeting where Mrs. Eliza Paschall, Executive Director of the Community Relations Commission of the City of Atlanta, will be honored. Morehouse College President Emeritus Dr. Benjamin E. Mays is scheduled to discuss "Black Power versus White Power" with the attendees.

Letter from Benjamin E. Mays to Miss Dora McDonald

In this document, President of Morehouse College, Benjamin E. Mays writes to Dora McDonald regarding receipt of a check. Mays also discusses the role he played in bringing McDonald to Atlanta.

Letter from Benjamin E. Mays to MLK

Benjamin E. Mays, President of Morehouse College, expresses his gratitude for the copy of the letter Dr. King sent to the editor of The Christian Century. Mays also inquires about the response of the editor.

Letter from Benjamin E. Mays to MLK

Benjamin E. Mays offers celebratory wishes to Dr. King on the sixth anniversary of the Southern Christian Leadership Conferece. Mays offers words of support and encouragement for the great work Dr. King has done in the fight for equality and justice.

Letter from Benjamin E. Mays to MLK

Dr. Mays requests the help of Dr. King and several other ministers to promote theological education among Baptist parishioners.

Letter from Benjamin E. Mays to MLK

Morehouse College President Benjamin E. Mays writes Dr. King to ask him to consider donating his papers to the Atlanta University Center Library as an alternative to Boston University.

Letter from Benjamin E. Mays to MLK

In this letter, dated March 9, 1965, Dr. Benjamin E. Mays requests Dr. King's attendance at the annual Morehouse College Board of Trustees meeting.

Letter from Benjamin E. Mays to MLK

Dr. Benjamin Mays, President of Morehouse College, invites Dr. and Mrs. King to lunch after the Morehouse Board of Trustees Meeting.

Letter from Benjamin E. Mays to MLK Regarding an Outstanding Balance

Mr. Mays, President of Morehouse College, informs Dr. King of the new student dormitory and inquires about a donation to pay for the cost to furnish one room.

Letter From Benjamin E. Mays to MLK Regarding Annual Report

In this letter, Mays informs Dr. King that an Annual Report will arrive soon.

Letter from Benjamin E. Mays to MLK Regarding Monroe Defense Committee

In this letter, Benjamin E. Mays, the president of Morehouse College, inquires what Dr. King may know about the Monroe Defense Committee.

Letter from Benjamin E. Mays to MLK Regarding Morehouse Anniversary

In this letter, President Mays invites Dr. King to Morehouse's 100th Anniversary celebration.

Letter from Benjamin E. Mays to Morehouse College Board of Trustees

Morehouse College President Benjamin E. Mays encourages the institution's board of trustee members to participate in the Centennial Convocation platform party. President Mays also encloses a calendar of events for the College's 100th Anniversary week.

Letter from Benjamin Mays to Dora McDonald Regarding Board Meeting

In this letter, Dr.Mays informs Ms.McDonald that it is imperative that Dr. King attends the annual board meeting,"since this is his first time being with us".

Letter from Benjamin Mays to Editors of the New York Times

In this letter, Mays addresses the editors of the New York Times about an article on equal employment opportunity. Mays states that he was not consulted by the article's author. As a result, he was misquoted. Mays uses the remainder of the article to clarify his position on equal employment programs.

Letter from Benjamin Mays to MLK

Dr. Benjamin E. Mays writes to Dr. King shortly after President Kennedy's assassination to urge him to take precautions.

Letter from Benjamin Mays to MLK

Dr. Mays informs Dr. King of his recommendation to confer an honorary degree from Morehouse College on Dr. J. Curtis Dixon. Mays includes a biographical sketch of Dr. Dixon and asks Dr. King to respond to the letter with his approval or disapproval.

Letter from Benjamin Mays to MLK

Dr. Mays, President of Morehouse College, writes each of the members of the board to seek an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for Dr. J. Curtis Nixon. Nixon was a lawyer and famous labor mediator.

Letter from Benjamin Mays to MLK

Dr. Mays writes to Dr. King regarding the new statement of purpose for Morehouse College.

Letter from Benjamin Mays to MLK

Dr. Mays presents Dr. King with a $300 honorarium for giving the first convocation address at Morehouse College.

Letter from Cass Canfield to MLK

Cass Canfield informs Dr. King that his company, Harper & Row Publishers Inc., won't publish Dr. Benjamin E Mays' book of memoirs.

Letter from Clayton Yates to MLK

Clayton R. Yates informs Dr. King of the Kappa Boule Meeting held on Morehouse College campus with James P. Brawley and Benjamin E. Mays.

Letter from Dora McDonald to Benjamin E. Mays Regarding Meeting

In this letter to Benjamin Mays, the president of Morehouse College, Dora McDonald state that Dr. King will be in attendance at their meeting on December 19, 1962.

Letter from Dora McDonald to Dr. Benjamin E. Mays

Dora McDonald informs Dr. Benjamin E. Mays that Dr. King will attend the Morehouse Board of Trustees luncheon.

Letter from Dr. Benjamin E. Mays to Dr. and Mrs. King

Benjamin E. Mays invites Dr. and Mrs. King to the Founder's Day Banquet at Morehouse College.

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