Sager Brown to commemorate 150th anniversary in Sept.
On Sept. 17, Sager Brown will mark its 150th anniversary in Baldwin.
Founded in 1867, Sager Brown was originally established as an orphanage and school for African-American children and youth orphaned by the Civil War. Since that time, this sacred ground has transformed many times over while consistently providing outreach ministry in Baldwin and the surrounding communities. Sager Brown’s sesquicentennial “The Homecoming” will be celebrated on Oct. 21 at the Sager Brown Campus in Baldwin. All former students, staff, and volunteers are invited to join us as we mark 150 years of Sager Brown’s service to humanity.
The keynote speaker for the celebration is Dr. Wanda L. Nelson. Dr. Nelson is a native of the St. Joseph Community on the outskirts of Franklin. Her formative education began at Sager Brown Home and Godman School in Baldwin, where she remained through eighth grade. She graduated Park Avenue High School in Franklin, then pursued higher education earning the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Grambling College; Master of Arts, Ball State University; Educational Specialist, Louisiana State University; and Doctor of Education, Northern Illinois University. Her 43 years professional career began at Bicester American Elementary School in England and concluded at the University of Texas at Austin, where she rose to the position of Associate Vice President.
Dr. Nelson has served on numerous boards, including the American Cancer Society, Region; Communities in Schools; Austin Achievement Zone; and Migrant Student Advisory Board. She is the recipient of numerous awards including: Heman Marion Sweatt Legacy Award; National Women of Achievement Education Award; UT Black Faculty and Staff Lifetime Achievement Award; National Forum for Black Public Administrators Human Services Award; Austin Black Chamber of Commerce Education Advocate Award, and the 2017 William C. Powers Lifetime Service UT Tower Award. Other honors included selection for Leadership Austin and Leadership Texas, and Who’s Who Among Black Americans.
Her participation in community service organizations include Jack & Jill of America, The Links, Inc., and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. in which she served as a national officer. Currently she is mentoring girls living in a foster care home as well as four refugee children from Rwanda. Additionally, she is an associate musician and deaconess at Mt. Olive B.C. in Austin, Texas. She is married to Elridge Nelson, of Charenton, and they are the parents of two sons and three grandsons.