Founded in 1873, Wiley College is a private, college in Marshall, Texas, US. The anti-segregation student sit-ins at Wiley were at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement in Texas alongside those at Bishop College. The college has open admissions.
Undergraduate courses are organised across faculties in education, social sciences and humanities, business and technology and sciences. The student to faculty ratio at Wiley College is about 18 to one.
One of the things that Wiley College is most famous for is its debate team which inspired Denzel Washington’s 2007 film The Great Debaters, produced by Oprah Winfrey. The film celebrates the success of Wiley’s debate team against the University of Southern California in 1935. The success was largely due to professor, poet, columnist and politician Melvin Beaunorus Tolson, whose teams only lost one out of 75 games spanning over 15 years. Denzel Washington also donated $1 million to revive the debating team in 2007 and the club is still running.
Athletics-wise, there is baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, and track and field.
Outside campus, there is the town of Marshall with a population of 24,000. In addition, there is the chance to fish, camp, swim at the Lake O’ The Pines or spend a day at Caddo Lake.
Some notable alumni are Civil Rights Movement leader James Farmer, politician Maxine Horner - one of the first African American women who served in the Oklahoma State Senate, scientist and astronomer Walter S McAfee, who participated in the first radar echo experiments, educator and NAACP activist Thelma Dewitt and author Michael Lewis.