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Guilford College, Quakers, and Civil Rights in Greensboro: Home

Guide to additional resources and information relating to the interconnections between Guilford College, the city of Greensboro, and local Quakers and the area's rich civil rights history.


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Quaker Archives
Quaker Archives
Guilford College
5800 W Friendly Avenue
Greensboro, NC 27410

Greensboro Quick Facts Timeline

  • 1754 New Garden Monthly Meeting of Friends established as Quakers settle in what is now Guilford County
  • 1808 Greensboro founded
  • 1820s Quaker Coffin family active in antislavery efforts, such as the Underground Railroad and African American education
  • 1837 New Garden Boarding School (later Guilford College) opens with both male and female students and teachers but no African Americans except as support staff until the 1960s
  • 1917 American Friends Services Committee established. AFSC later has regional office in Greensboro with programming in the 1940s and 1950s focusing on encouraging desegregation efforts.
  • 1930s and 1940s Guilford students participate in interracial activities with Bennett and NC A&T students
  • 1953 Greensboro Evening College, located downtown, acquired by Guilford (evolved into Guilford’s CCE program which moved to the main campus in 1973). Local African Americans later take courses downtown as non-credit students not officially accepted through the college’s admissions process.
  • 1955 Eleanor Roosevelt speaks to an integrated audience at New Garden Friends Meeting. A landmark tree in the meeting’s adjacent cemetery explodes due to dynamite during the event.
  • 1962 Guilford College becomes part of Greensboro (town of Guilford College annexed by Greensboro in 1972).
  • 1962 Winston-Salem’s James McCorkle enters as Guilford’s first African American student in the Fall. Two black Quaker students from Kenya begin at Guilford that same semester.
  • 1963 Four European American Guilford students arrested at Greensboro’s S&W Cafeteria demonstration. Two additional Guilford students were arrested later that same week. One arrestee noted that 4 of the 5 Greensboro colleges had issued statements in support of the demonstrations for integration of downtown Greensboro businesses. Guilford had not.
  • 1967 Friends World Committee for Consultation holds an international gathering of Quakers from around the world at Guilford. Earlier planning for hosting the event led to recruitment of Guilford’s first Kenyan students in 1962.

Online Resources

History of Race Relations at Guilford College

Civil Rights Greensboro Digital Project – Access to archival resources documenting the modern civil rights era in Greensboro, North Carolina, from the 1940s to the early 1980s. Guilford College contributed archival material to the project.

Guilford College’s Integration – Guide to resources, ongoing projects, and information created in 2012-2013 supporting Journeys in Blackness, Commemorating 50 Years of Integration

North Carolina Quakers, Anti-Slavery, and the Underground Railroad – Topic guide to resources, timeline, and video interviews

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