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During the period from 1937 till 1939, Proctor studied at Virginia State College (present-day Virginia State University).
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In 1940, Proctor entered Virginia Union University. In 1942, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the university.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, United States
Proctor attended the University of Pennsylvania.
Chester, Pennsylvania 19013, United States
In 1945, Proctor received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary.
New Haven, Connecticut 06520, United States
In 1946, Samuel studied ethics at Yale University.
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Samuel attended Boston University School of Theology and graduated with a Doctor of Theology degree in 1950.
Dr. Samuel D. Proctor delivering commencement address during FAMU graduation ceremony at Gaither Gymnasium in Tallahassee.
(The best of biblical scholarship and theological reflecti...)
The best of biblical scholarship and theological reflection is combined in these sermons, that speak eloquently about a question of vital importance to all Christians — what does it mean to be a person under God?
(Proctor and Taylor share their insights and unravel the m...)
Proctor and Taylor share their insights and unravel the mysteries of how to be a pastor of integrity and character.
(The noted theologian and educator reflects on the role of...)
The noted theologian and educator reflects on the role of faith in his own life and in the lives of African-Americans, chronicling his family history from the time, during which his grandmother was a slave.
In 1937, Samuel finished high school and the same year, he enrolled at Virginia State College (present-day Virginia State University). During the time, when he studied at the college, Proctor played saxophone in a jazz band, together with a well-known jazz pianist Billy Taylor. Moreover, they both joined Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
In 1939, Samuel left Virginia State College without obtaining a degree and entered the United States Naval Apprentice School to become a shipfitter. The following year, in 1940, Proctor left the school and the same year, he entered Virginia Union University. In 1942, Samuel graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the university.
Later, Proctor attended the University of Pennsylvania within one year before entering Crozer Theological Seminary in Upland, Pennsylvania in order to become a Christian minister. At the same time, when he studied at the seminary, Samuel worshiped at the Calvary Baptist Church and became recognized as one of the "Sons of Calvary" together with Martin Luther King, Jr. and William Augustus Jones, Jr. In 1945, Proctor received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary.
In 1946, Samuel went to study ethics at Yale University. Later, he continued his studies at Boston University School of Theology, graduating with a Doctor of Theology degree in 1950.
During his lifetime, he received 45 honorary degrees from different educational establishments, including Bucknell University, Davidson College, Ottawa University, Dillard University, Rutgers University and many others.
In 1945, after graduation from Crozer Theological Seminary, Proctor was appointed a pastor at the Pond Street Church in Providence, Rhode Island, a post he held until 1949. In 1950, after finishing his studies at the Boston University School of Theology, Samuel was invited to deliver a lecture at Crozer Theological Seminary. It was there, that he met his future friend and pupil Martin Luther King, Jr.
In 1950, Samuel was appointed a dean of Virginia Union University, a post he held till 1953, when he was promoted to the position of a vice-president of the university, remaining on that post till 1955. Some time later, in December of 1955, Samuel gave a "Spring Lecture Series" in the middle of Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Between 1955-1960, Proctor served as a president of Virginia Union University. Also, during that period of time, he traveled extensively abroad for the first time in his life, delivering lectures in the Soviet Union, touring the Auschwitz concentration camp, attending conferences in Africa and the South Pacific and visiting Africa for the first time.
In 1960, Samuel was appointed a president of the Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina (present-day North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University). Between 1963-1964, Proctor got a leave of absence from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in order to hold a post of an associate director of the newly founded Peace Corps chapter in Africa. Holding that post, Proctor lived in Washington, D.C. However, after the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, he took his family to Nigeria for a short time.
Later, Proctor came back to the United States and resumed his presidential duties at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. However, on March 1, 1964, Samuel left the post. During the period from 1964 till 1965, Proctor held a post of a president of the National Council of Churches. Later, from 1965 till 1966, he was a supporter of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty, serving as a special assistant to national director of Office of Economic Opportunity for the northeast region. In 1966, Samuel became a president of the Institute for Service to Education, a position he held till 1968.
In 1968, Proctor, together with Hubert Humphrey and Thurgood Marshall, left for Africa. After his return to the United States, he spoke out against the political corruption, that was common in Africa.
In 1969, Samuel was invited to deliver a lecture on the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Graduate School of Education of Rutgers University. The school's administration was impressed by the address and soon appointed Samuel a Martin Luther King Distinguished Professor of Education, a post Proctor held until 1984.
In 1972, Proctor became a pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City and held the position till 1989. During his later years, he also worked as a special adviser on an ethics committee on recombinant DNA research.
After Proctor's retirement from the position of a pastor, he worked as a visiting professor at different educational establishments, including Vanderbilt University, United Theological Seminary, Kean University and Duke University. In 1997, while delivering a lecture at Cornell College, Samuel suffered a heart attack and died.
(The best of biblical scholarship and theological reflecti...)1984
(The noted theologian and educator reflects on the role of...)1996
(Proctor and Taylor share their insights and unravel the m...)1996
(A powerful call for developing a personal and community m...)1989
Samuel was a politically active person. He was an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement. Also, during the Greensboro sit-ins, a series of nonviolent protests in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1960, Proctor raised money for arrested students and helped to find them lawyers.
Moreover, he was a supporter of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty. Also, Samuel spoke out against the political corruption in the United States.
Samuel was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi and Sigma Pi Phi.
Samuel married Bessie Louise Tate on September 23, 1944. Their marriage produced four children — Herbert, Timothy, Samuel and Steven.