Martin David Jenkins

This article is about the educator. For the judge, see Martin Jenkins.
Martin David Jenkins
7th President of Morgan State College (now called Morgan State University)
In office
Preceded by Dwight O.W. Holmes
Succeeded by Thomas P. Fraser, Ed.D.(interim)
Personal details
Born (1904-09-04)September 4, 1904
Indiana Terre Haute, Indiana
Died June 9, 1978(1978-06-09) (aged 73)
Washington, D.C.
Nationality English
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Lacy
Residence United States
Alma mater Howard University
Indiana State University
Northwestern University
Profession Education

Martin David Jenkins, (September 4, 1904 — June 9, 1978) was an African-American educator known for his pioneering work in the field of education.

Early life

The only child of David W. and Josephine (Miller) Jenkins, Martin was born in Terre Haute, Indiana. Jenkins's father was a civil engineer, a position that placed his family among the small number of middle-class African-American families living in Terre Haute at that time. Jenkins attended a racially segregated public elementary school and later entered Wiley High School, a large, integrated school of over 1500 students, where he was one of only a few African-American students in his graduating class of 1921. As captain of the track team and its top sprinter, Jenkins established Vigo County records in the 50-yard (5.6 seconds), 100-yard (10.2) and 220-yard (24.0) dashes. He won the district meet in the 100 and 220 to advance to the state finals.


Jenkins graduated from Howard University in 1925 with a B.S. in Engineering. Upon graduation, Jenkins became a partner with his father in a Terre Haute highway contracting business while taking classes at State Normal. He secured a B.A. degree in Education from Indiana State in 1931 and, on September 7, 1927 wed Elizabeth Lacy.

After teaching briefly at Virginia State College (now Virginia State University), Jenkins began graduate work at Northwestern University under Terre Haute native and Indiana State alumnus, Paul A. Witty. He earned a master's degree in 1933 and a doctorate in education in 1935. His dissertation was a socio-psychological study of African-American children of superior intelligence.

Before becoming President of Morgan State College in Baltimore in 1948, Jenkins was registrar and professor of education at North Carolina A&T(1935–1937); dean of instruction at Cheyney State (Pa.) Teachers College (now Cheyney University)(1937–1938); and professor of education at Howard University (1938–1948).

A diplomate of the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Psychology, Martin published more than 80 scholarly articles and monographs. He also served on several presidential commissions, councils and task forces.

Honored as a Distinguished Alumnus by Indiana State in 1964, Jenkins was also awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Liberia, Delaware State College, Howard University and Johns Hopkins University. After his retirement as president of Morgan State in 1970, he became the director of the Office of Urban Affairs for the American Council of Education.

Jenkins's study of the socio-psychological study of African American children of superior intelligence went unpublished.


Preceded by
Dwight O. W. Holmes
Presidents of Morgan State College (now Morgan State University)
Succeeded by
Thomas P. Fraser, Ed.D.(interim)
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