Stanford University The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute
Volume I, 28 February 1948

Volume I Table of Contents

Transcriptions are intended to reproduce the source document accurately, adhering to the exact wording and punctuation of the original. In general, errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar have been neither corrected nor indicated by [sic].

Benjamin Elijah Mays to Charles E. Batten

28 February 1948
Atlanta, Ga.

Benjamin E. Mays, president of Morehouse,is restrained in his assessment of King ("not brilliant") but nevertheless recommends King to Crozer, along with another student whose name the depository has deleted from the document for reasons of privacy. In his autobiography, Mays indicates a relationship with King closer than that suggested in this letter, mentioning "a real friendship which was strengthened by visits in his home and by fairly frequent chats on the campus and in my office. Many times, during his four years at Morehouse, he would linger after my Tuesday morning address to discuss some point I had made--usually with approval, but sometimes questioning or disagreeing." Responding to King's later description of him as a "spiritual mentor," Mays remarked that he had not been aware of the extent of his influence on King as a student. After King completed his doctorate, Mays offered him a faculty position at Morehouse College, and during the 1960s he convinced King to teach part-time at his institution.

Mr. Charles E. Batten
Crozer Theological Seminary
Chester, Pennsylvania

Dear Mr. Batten:

I want to endorse the applications for both Martin L. King, Jr. and [name deleted] I have no reservations in recommending these two men. Both of them should graduate from Morehouse College in June. They are men of good integrity; they adjust well, and I believe, that they would do a good job at Crozer.

You will see from their records that they are not brilliant students, but they both have good minds. I believe they have academic averages around B-, certainly between C and B. I am of the opinion that they both can do substantial B work and with good competition, they may do even better. I hope you will see your way clear to accept them.

Sincerely yours,

[signed as below]

Benjamin E. Mays



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