OUC to Receive Historical Marker Honoring Joseph Carter Corbin

An Ohio historical marker unveiling commemorating Chillicothe native Joseph Carter Corbin will take place June 28, 2017 at 11 a.m. on the grounds of the Ohio University Chillicothe campus.

The ceremony will include remarks from OUC Campus Dean, Dr. Martin Tuck; Mayor of Chillicothe, Luke Feeney; Ohio University Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Sherri Clark; Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Marla Mayberry; Ohio History Connection Program Coordinator, Becki Trivison; and author of “Joseph Carter Corbin,” Gladys Turner Finney.

“Professor Joseph Carter Corbin’s significance and legacy to American education as a pioneer-founder of a HBCU (Historically Black College/University) during the Reconstruction era of the South, following the Civil War is far reaching. A son of former slaves, born in Chillicothe and educated at Ohio University, he used his education to change the world by making higher education available to former slaves and their descendants,” said author Gladys Turner Finney, who petitioned for Corbin’s historical marker. “Corbin’s work and his unselfish devotion to educating others still remains, is immortal and magnifies his birthplace, native state and alma mater.”

Carter, a prolific African-American scholar, educator, author, linguist and musician born in Chillicothe to free African American parents, was a trailblazer for educational opportunities for free African-Americans in the post-Civil War south.

He earned his undergraduate and two graduate degrees from Ohio University before moving to Arkansas where he was later elected State Superintendent of Public Education. In 1875, Corbin was appointed principal of Branch Normal College, which later became the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

“We are honored to be the site that will forever commemorate the educational and historical contributions of Joseph Carter Corbin with this historical marker,” said Martin Tuck, Dean of the Chillicothe campus. “His life’s work helped to provide educational opportunities for African-Americans and his work epitomizes the mission of what we strive for at OUC - a chance to provide educational opportunities to our communities surrounding the campus.”

The Ohio Historical Markers identify, commemorate and honor the important people, places and events that have contributed to the state's rich history. The Ohio Historical Markers Program, administered by the Ohio Historical Society, is a vital educational tool, informing residents and visitors about significant aspects of Ohio's past.

The event is open to the public and a reception with light refreshments will be held after the ceremony.