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AN INTENTIONAL PLACE CALLED CHRISTIANSBURG INSTITUTE Harkrader 22 1988 Painting of CI Displayed at the Christiansburg Town Hall The historic Christiansburg Institute was a vibrant school that provided an exceptionally high-quality education to African Americans. It served as an example of what happens when people choose to BE INTIONAL. Christiansburg Institute (CI) housed students and faculty from the surrounding areas and from other states. Several of its graduates later returned to teach at the school or in the local schools of their hometowns. The short ten sentence summary of the century of learning that occurred at CI emphasizes the INTIONAL actions taken by the founders and it highlights a sequential process for being engaged in the community. Even now, the alumni, their descendants, community members and others can continue to be inspired by CI’s history. THE TIGER & THE TORCH Page | 28

THE H ISTORIC CHRISTIANSBURG INSTITUTE (1866-1966) The strong desire to learn encouraged African Americans to work with Captain Charles Schaeffer and others who shared their vision to INITIATE formal education in Christiansburg, VA. Resources, support and patience allowed them to IMPLEMENT the plan for Christiansburg Normal Institute’s first brick school building (now called Christiansburg Community Center). Using Hampton and Tuskegee Institutes as models, Booker T. Washington began to INFLUENCE the decisions that would successfully address several economic challenges. The school’s name changed from Christiansburg Normal Institute to Christiansburg Industrial Institute and with focused leadership, the curriculum was adjusted and the community saw the enrollment of the campus INCREASE. The survival of the Institute was seen as activity began to INTENSIFY with new buildings, teacher institutes, a new water system, and farm production. As the enrollment grew beyond building capacity and challenges with the newly formed hospital developed, the need to IMPROVISE became clear. With the changing times, The Friends’ Freedmen’s Association decided to INVITE the local school board to take the lead in supporting the Institute. Transitions brought a different philosophy and the staff adjusted to IMPART new educational practices that had an emphasis on preparing students for college. After the local school boards took over the administration, the Tuskegee model was replaced, “Industrial” was removed from the school name and they chose to INVEST in busing. The school had dual accreditation, additional courses and more extracurricular activities; however, desegregation laws were enforced, the school closed, and students experienced firsthand what it meant to INTEGRATE. Photo Credit: Virtual Christiansburg Institute Poster THE TIGER & THE TORCH Page | 29

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