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Join Us For The Investiture of
Dr. Glenell M. Lee-Pruitt

March 21, 2024

About Jarvis

Dr. Glenell M. Lee-Pruitt

Dr. Pruitt

Jarvis Christian University was founded in 1912 as Jarvis Christian Institute 112 years ago to educate African American youth, but the dream for the school began much earlier, around 1904.

Two women, Mrs. Mary Alphin with the African American Disciples of Christ and Miss Virginia Hearne with the Christian Women’s Board of Missions, approached Mrs. Ida Van Zandt Jarvis about the need for the school. She encouraged her husband, Major James J. Jarvis, who was a successful lawyer, Texas senator, and philanthropist, and he agreed. In 1910, they donated more than 450 acres of East Texas land they owned.

The condition was that the institution would be to educate the “head, heart, and hand” of Black students with efficient religious instruction and industrial training. Major Jarvis later was instrumental in the founding of Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, where he served as a charter member of the board of directors.

In Hawkins, Jarvis Christian Institute began its first classes in January of 1913, comprising a dozen elementary grade students. As students matriculated upward through the grades, the institute continued to add higher and higher levels of courses.

By 1927, the school was renamed Jarvis Christian College, a name it carried for 95 years. Known for many years for educating and preparing preachers and school teachers to serve communities all across the nation.

As the years rolled on, the college expanded in student enrollments, facilities, student diversity and inclusion, as well as in the academic programs it offered.

Students, faculty, and staff of all ethnicities today are welcomed from more than 40 countries around the globe. Proud of its heritage as a member of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

In May of 2022, Jarvis Christian College announced its name change to Jarvis Christian University after receiving accreditation to offer its first two graduate programs. In January 2023, the university began offering a Master of Business Administration degree and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice.

Continuing the legacy of its founders, Jarvis Christian University is ever- expanding educational opportunities for all of East Texas and beyond by offering degree programs that empower students to achieve their career goals through an academic experience that prepares them for a life of significance.

Whether a student is a recent high school graduate or a working adult seeking career advancement, Jarvis Christian University develops students of all ages intellectually, socially, spiritually, and emotionally.