Horace Mann Bond (November 8, 1905 – December 21, 1972) was an American educator, academic administrator, writer, and the father of civil-rights leader Julian Bond. He earned a master's and doctorate from University of Chicago, at a time when only a small percentage of any young adults attended college. He was an influential leader at several historically black colleges and was appointed the first president of Fort Valley State University in Georgia in 1939, and the first African-American president of Lincoln University, Pennsylvania in 1945.
Read Horace Mann Bond's letter to Time magazine.
Horace was the grandson of slaves and the child of an extraordinary couple. His mother was a schoolteacher, his father a minister, both of whom had attended Oberlin College in Ohio. Horace was the sixth of seven children. At age eight, Bond suffered an attack by the Ku Klux Klan that wounded him more emotionally than physically. He worked all his life to advance his race. Bond excelled in school, graduating from high school at the age of fourteen.
Bond graduated from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania at 19. He quickly proved himself to be an extraordinary leader, graduating with honors from Lincoln University in 1923. While taking classes at Pennsylvania State College, Horace earned grades higher than those of his white classmates. Later he returned to Lincoln University as an instructor. Bond then suffered the only setback to his success; he was dismissed from the college for tolerating a gambling ring in a dormitory which he was supervising. Despite his embarrassment at Lincoln, Bond maintained a reputation as a fine scholar.
Bond married Julia Agnes Washington in 1929. She was a student he met while teaching at Fisk University in Nashville in the 1920s. Julia Washington was from a wealthy and prominent African-American family in Nashville, Tennessee. She and Horace had three children: Jane Margaret, born 1939; Horace Julian, born in 1940; and James, born in 1945. Bond had high expectations for all three of his children, expectations that were initially met only by his daughter.
In the 1960s his son Horace Julian became a leader in the black college student wing of the civil rights movement. Julian Bond went on to become a state legislator is Georgia. In his long political career, he achieved a renown beyond his father's.
Horace Mann Bond earned the M.A. and Ph.D degrees from the University of Chicago, where his dissertation won the Rosenberger Prize in 1936. As was customary in those years, Bond worked at a variety of academic institutions before completing his doctorate, including Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma; Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee; and Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. He worked his way up in academic administration, becoming dean at Dillard in 1934 and chairman of the education department at Fisk University later in the 1930s. Bond was the first president of Fort Valley State College, in Fort Valley, Georgia, where he was appointed in 1939 and served until 1945.
In 1945 Bond was selected as president of Lincoln University, the first African American to be appointed to that leadership position. He served there until 1957. Horace Mann Bond became friends with Albert C. Barnes, businessman, art collector and founder of the nearby Barnes Foundation. He also supported education.
Barnes later changed the bylaws of his foundation to enable Lincoln University to control the foundation's board of trustees, and thereby oversee one of the largest private art collections in the world, worth over $2 billion. In recent years the Barnes Foundation contested Albert C. Barnes' will and Lincoln University's control in an effort to modernize administration of the institution and move the collection to Center City, Philadelphia, where they expect to attract more paying visitors. In 2005 Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell brokered a settlement.
Horace Mann Bond wrote Education for Freedom: A History of Lincoln University; The Education of the Negro in the American Social Order, and The Education of the Negro in Alabama.