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The W. E. B. Du Bois Scholars Program

The W. E. B. Du Bois Scholars Program

Dorsey T. Patterson

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 25
Memphis, TN 38126

OFFICE:  (901) 435-1286
FAX:  (901) 435-1764
EMAIL: honors@loc.edu

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Home » Academic Affairs » The W. E. B. Du Bois Scholars Program

The W. E. B. Du Bois Scholars Program


The LeMoyne-Owen College Honors Program was conceptualized in 1988 when College President Dr. Irving P. McPhail approached Dr. Miriam DeCosta-Willis and requested that she establish an Honors Society.  Someone suggested to her, “Why don’t we call it the W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Program?” to pay tribute to a man who has been called the most outstanding intellectual of the 20th Century. It was Dr. DuBois who stated “You, our accomplished students, can and must become a part of the “Talented Tenth”.  Dr. McPhail stated in 1988  that this “ Talented Tenth “ will demonstrate that the purpose of a liberal arts education is to transmit the culture, values, and knowledge of the past; to help men and women realize their human potential; and to affirm the humanity of mankind.”


Dr. McPhail noted the following objectives that would shape the development of the W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Program:


  • To identify academically gifted and talented students presently enrolled at the College;
  • To motivate underachievers to excel so that they will be invited to join the Program;
  • To attract gifted students, including transfer students and recent high school graduates, to the College;
  • To counsel students to pursue and excel in a rigorous academic program;
  • To assist students in preparation for graduate and professional work;
  • To create an academic climate that will stimulate all members of the College community to perform to their greatest intellectual capacity; and
  • To promote the College as the capstone of higher education in Memphis


We pay tribute to Dr. McPhail and to the following seven professors who were the first honors instructors for the W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Program: Dr. Stanley Abell, Dr. Rosanne Bell, Dr. Barbara Frankle, Dr. Reuben Green, Dr. Cortez Martin, Dr. James Robinson, and Dr. Miriam De-Costa Willis.


The program, as envisioned by Dr. McPhail in 1988, is experiencing a renaissance.  LeMoyne-Owen College’s current President, Dr. Andrea Lewis Miller, has embarked on a mission of elevating academic excellence, increasing retention rates, and enhancing the recognition of LeMoyne-Owen College as one of the premier private liberal arts colleges in the nation. Dr. Miller not only has embraced the original vision of Dr. McPhail, but also has taken a major step in improving the academic climate at LOC by opening the W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Center on campus. The center has a multi-purpose use that includes a computer area, library, Honors Director’s office, and area for seminars, quiet reading, studying, and exchanging ideas with like-minded peers.


Contact us via phone at 901-435-1286, fax at 901-435-1764, Email at honors@loc.edu, or stop by the Du Bois Scholars Center at 804 Saxon Avenue.