On Tuesday, February 20, 2018 from 12:00 – 1:00 PM the Carnegie Center for Art and History is hosting a free and fascinating Lunch and Learn presentation by Jan Vetrhus entitled, Historic Eleutherian College-A Protest in Limestone. Located near Lancaster, Indiana atop “College Hill”, Eleutherian College is a National Historic Landmark and on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and a pioneer in desegregating education in America. Registration is requested and can be done by contacting the Carnegie Center by phone or email. Bring a lunch, and Carnegie Center will supply beverages.
Eleutherian College was founded as Eleutherian Institute in 1848 by the Neil’s Creek Abolitionist Baptist Church and was the first college in Indiana to admit students regardless of gender or race. Many of the members of the Neil’s Creek Abolitionist Baptist Church were active in Indiana’s Underground Railroad. In 1851, Indiana voters approved a new constitution which banned African-Americans from moving into the state. In response, Eleutherian College not only ignored this law, but expanded their school with the inclusion of a new, three story limestone schoolhouse which survives to this day. Despite resistance, arson, and arrests, these 19th Century protestors built a legacy to Liberty and Equality that inspired their students to outstanding achievement. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about this little known aspect of Indiana’s history.
Jan Vetrhus has a B.A. in Classical Greek from Concordia Sr. College, Fort Wayne and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After a successful career at Cummins, Inc. she retired in 2008. Currently, she serves as the President of the board of directors for the Historic Eleutherian College. In 2017, a full-length play about Eleutherian College written by Jan Vetrhus was performed at their annual Fall Festival.