JACKSONVILLE – Edward Waters College (EWC) is commemorating its 150th anniversary this year.
A kick off event for a yearlong celebration is 11 a.m. Jan. 20 on the Centennial Lawn of the Jacksonville-based college.
President Nathaniel Glover, the Edward Waters faculty, staff, students and alumni will participate in a brief program honoring the rich history of Florida’s oldest historically Black college and private institution of higher learning.
There will be spirited performances by Edward Water’s Triple Threat Marching Band and Concert Choir. The program will conclude with the release of 150 biodegradable purple an orange balloons and a cake-cutting celebration.
Formerly named Brown’s Theological Institute, EWC was founded in 1866 by the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church to educate newly emancipated slaves. The school met the needs of its community by offering courses at the elementary, high school, college and seminary levels. Construction on the first building began in 1872 on 10 acres of land in Live Oak.
In 1892, the school’s name was changed to Edward Waters College in honor of the third bishop of the AME Church. The school moved to Jacksonville in 1893 where the campus was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1901. In 1904, the board of trustees purchased the present site of the school on Kings Road where it was rebuilt.