DOWELL, SPRIGHT, 1878-1963


Educator; college and university president. Born– January 2, 1878, Wake County, N.C. Parents– George James and Trannia (Yates) Dowell. Married– Camille Early, December 28, 1898. Children– Four. Education– Wake Forest College, A.B., 1896; Teacher’s College of Columbia University, A.M.,  1911. Served as elementary school principal in Shelby County, 1898-1900; high school principal at Columbiana, 1900-1906; school superintendent at East Lake, 1906-1909; principal of Barrett School in Birmingham, 1909-1913; chief clerk, Alabama Department of Education, 1915-1917; State Superintendent of Education, 1917-1920; president of Alabama Polytechnic Institute, 1920-1928; president of Mercer University, 1929-1953. Served as secretary and president of the Conference of Church-Related Colleges of the Southwest; vice president of the Georgia Education Association; president of the Georgia Association of Colleges; member Southern Baptist Education Commission.  Awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Law, University of Alabama, 1920; Howard  College, 1928; Baylor University, 1945; Wake Forest University, 1950. Died February 24, 1963.


Marquis who’s who online and the files at Alabama Public Library Service.


Columbus Roberts: Christian Steward Extraordinary.  Nashville; Broadman, 1951.

A History of Mercer University, 1833-1953. Macon, Ga.; Mercer University, 1958.


Collections of papers of Spright Dowell are held by the libraries of Auburn University and Mercer University.