Each year on Sept. 2 — the birthday of John Howard — Howard College of Arts and Sciences celebrates its namesake by naming a new class of John Howard Scholars. The 17 students in the 2016–17 class, who are among the finest in the college, will promote scholarship, service and learning in the Howard tradition:
Jessica Brewer (Global Studies)
Caroline Carlisle (Mathematics)
Kloe Freeman (Biology)
Allie Hales (Journalism and Mass Communication)
Sally Hamby (Mathematics)
Sam Hudson (Biochemistry)
Katie-Bryn Hubbard (English)
Kathryn King (International Relations)
Zac Lockwood (Computer Science)
Cameron Teaney (International Relations)
Anna Waugh (Biology)
Among other projects, Howard Scholars helped the college acquire a reproduction of the John Howard statue that stands in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The reproduction, in the foyer of Brooks Hall, welcomes visitors to the college. An accompanying digital kiosk tells the story of the man who led an unremarkable life as a country squire in Bedfordshire until he was elected county sheriff.
Howard was outraged to learn that some prison inmates were held captive even after they were found innocent because they couldn’t afford the jailer’s fee. He then made it his life’s work to survey the jails of Europe in an attempt to bring public attention to the shameful treatment of prisoners. He died in 1790 in Ukraine during an inspection of the prisons and military hospitals in Eastern Europe.
Howard’s life became a model of Christian compassion for society’s outcasts, and the statue in St. Paul’s Cathedral was raised in his honor. Fifty years after his death, a group of Alabama Baptists decided to name their new college in honor of this great humanitarian.