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Calvin Burnett

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Information about Calvin Burnett

Profile image of Calvin Burnett

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
College President

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Salmon
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Favorite Quote:
Life Has A Board For Everyone's Behind.

Birthplace

Born:
3/16/1932
Birth Location:
Brinkley, Arkansas

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
College President

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Salmon
Favorite Time of Year:
All Seasons
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Favorite Quote:
Life Has A Board For Everyone's Behind.

Birthplace

Born:
3/16/1932
Birth Location:
Brinkley
See how Calvin Burnett is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Longtime president of Coppin State College, Calvin W. Burnett was born in Brinkley, Arkansas, in 1932, but grew up in Davenport, Iowa. After graduating from high school, Burnett attended St. Louis University, where he received his bachelor's degrees in biology and political science. Burnett remained with St. Louis University after graduation to earn his PhD degree in social psychology.

Burnett began his career as a research social psychologist at St. Louis Hospital, and later served as the director of research at the Health and Welfare Council of Saint Louis. From there, he began his instructional and administrative path, teaching first at the Catholic University of America and later at Southern Illinois University. In 1970, Burnett was named president of Coppin State College, and he remained there until his retirement in 2002. Under his leadership, Coppin was transformed from primarily a teacher training college to a school offering more than twenty diverse programs, including a nursing school. Admissions increased from 1,100 to more than 4,000 and successfully kept the school independent when Morgan State University attempted to merge in 1991.

Burnett has also given his time to a number of community and civic organizations, serving on the board of the State of Maryland Civil Rights Commission, acting as past president of the Baltimore Area Boy Scouts of America, and chairing the state NAACP Jubilee Committee. He has appeared in several editions of Who's Who, been awarded the Outstanding Educator in America in 1971, and received the Fullwood Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

He is married to Gretta L. Burnett, who is also an educator. He has four grown children and four grandchildren. His personal interests include existential philosophy, classical and jazz music, and gardening.

See how Calvin Burnett is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Calvin Burnett's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Calvin Burnett lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Calvin Burnett describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Calvin Burnett describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Calvin Burnett describes living with his mother and stepfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Calvin Burnett describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Calvin Burnett recalls his paternal grandmother, including her impression of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Calvin Burnett describes childhood activities and how he developed his values growing up in Davenport, Iowa
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Calvin Burnett describes his early education in Davenport, Iowa
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Calvin Burnett describes the jobs he worked while he was a student at Davenport High School in Davenport, Iowa
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Calvin Burnett talks about playing basketball at Grambling State University in Grambling, Louisiana under Coach Eddie Robinson
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Calvin Burnett remembers his time on the post basketball team while in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Calvin Burnett recalls his experiences with African American basketball stars of the 1950s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Calvin Burnett talks about his decision to study social psychology
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Calvin Burnett relates his impressions of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Calvin Burnett remembers Goose Tatum, a star basketball player with the Harlem Globetrotters
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Calvin Burnett talks about his early career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Calvin Burnett describes his experiences of racial discrimination as a college basketball player in the 1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Calvin Burnett remembers the camaraderie of his Saint Louis University basketball team
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Calvin Burnett narrates his teaching career leading up to his presidency of Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Calvin Burnett recounts a debate with the Black Power Movement at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Calvin Burnett considers his decisions regarding student social life as president of Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Calvin Burnett talks about the state of historical preservation and programming on college campuses
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Calvin Burnett describes the history of Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Calvin Burnett talks about the growth of Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland from 1970 to 2003
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Calvin Burnett talks about his colleagues at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland during his tenure as president
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Calvin Burnett describes the commitment of Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland to low-income students
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Calvin Burnett describes Coppin State University's difficulties with the Maryland state legislature
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Calvin Burnett describes his struggles to keep Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland accredited and open
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Calvin Burnett comments on recent legal challenges to historically black colleges and universities
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Calvin Burnett recalls his efforts to bring issues at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland before the Office of Civil Rights
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Calvin Burnett details progress at Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland due to a special taskforce appointed by the State of Maryland
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Calvin Burnett describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Calvin Burnett talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Calvin Burnett narrates his photographs