Brown-Tougaloo Partnership

Partnership History

Early 1960s


As the only Black college in Mississippi not under state control, Tougaloo College played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights movement. Leaders often utilized the campus for meetings integral to the cause. Tougaloo students and faculty conducted some of the first sit-ins in Jackson.



Increased action by leaders in the Civil Rights movement and Tougaloo College's involvement created both national and local attention on this institution and the movement. State officials accused the school of fostering 'agitation' rather than education.

Early 1964


In response to these tensions, the Mississippi state legislature introduced bills to revoke Tougaloo's charter and prevent its graduates from taking the required state teacher's exams.

Early 1964


In the midst of this moment, several individuals with connections to Tougaloo and Providence convened to provide support to Tougaloo. This was realized through the creation of the Rhode Island Friends of Tougaloo group. It was formed by Irving Fain, Providence businessman, and his wife, Macie Fain, who was born and raised in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

It also included Rev. Larry Durgin, minister of Providence's Central Congregational Church and part of the Tougaloo College Board through his work with the American Missionary Association. They aimed to support Tougaloo College financially.

April 1964


The Rhode Island Friends of Tougaloo approached Barnaby Keeney, president of Brown, in their efforts to assist Tougaloo.

May 18, 1964


Tougaloo College and Brown University developed a "cooperative agreement," in response to the Rhode Island Friends of Tougaloo request, which initiated the formal relationship between the two institutions.

Mid-to-late 1960s


After receiving funding from the Ford Foundation in 1964, student exchanges between Tougaloo and Brown began. The program placed undergraduate students on either campus, where they both benefited from new academic and cultural experiences.



The cooperative program between Tougaloo and Brown emphasized the need for financial assistance to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), bringing federal attention to the issue.

Title III of the Higher Education Act in 1965 addressed this need by allocating more funding to HBCUs. Harold Pfautz, Brown professor of Sociology and early director of the Brown-Tougaloo program, gave testimony for this legislation.

Learn more in the article, "Funding Black Colleges: Title III of the Higher Education Act," by Danny Doncan, published in Freedom Now!: An Archival Project of Tougaloo College and Brown University, 2005.



The Early Identification Program, which admits Tougaloo students to the Brown Medical School, was started by Dr. Stanley Aronson, Dean of the Brown Medical School, and Richard McGinnis, Chemistry professor at Tougaloo.

May 15, 2004


BTP celebrated its 40th anniversary by convening at Tougaloo College.

Read Peter Bernstein's remarks for the event, "The Partnership: An Unprecedented Step in Higher Education"



Bernstein Scholars Program, which funds student-led research projects that foster the Brown-Tougaloo Partnership, was founded.



Brown University's Sigma Xi Honor Society began inducting high achieving science students from Tougaloo College.

November 6-8, 2014


BTP celebrated its 50th anniversary by convening in Providence, RI.