Born on November 29th, 1929 in Sumter, South Carolina
Educator, former Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Prairie View A&M
Interviewed by Cleandria Chevalier
2005 Visionary Heritage Fellow
Prairie View A & M University
Dr. Edward Martin first considered entering the medical field, but in college he learned his true calling was his ability educate and inspire young minds. He had always enjoyed learning and realized in college that he enjoyed teaching too. After college, he accepted a job at Prairie View A & M University in Texas. He had only planned to teach there for a year, but ending up staying for 53 years.
Dr. Martin was raised by his father and an aunt, after his mother died when he was eight years old. His aunt, Anna Murray, who was a school teacher, not only cared for him and his brother and sister, but instilled in them a love of learning.
During his academic career, Dr. Martin attended three prominent universities: Fisk University, Indiana University and the University of Iowa. Fisk was where Dr. Martin realized that medical school was not in his future and education would be a better option. He received a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Fisk University, and with the prodding from his professor Dr. Harry T. Folger, Martin continued his education at Indiana University. There he completed his master’s degree and then pursued his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa.
Dr. Martin decided to go to PVAMU to instruct the next generation of young scholars. At PVAMU, Dr. Martin developed inspirational ways of mentoring his students. For his dedication, he was honored with the Minnie Steven Piper Award in 1979, an honor bestowed to only 10 professors annually from across the state of Texas. In 1981, Dr. Edward Martin was appointed to Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. While working as dean, he reorganized the college in an effort to strengthen it. Dr. Martin also served on the Office of Civil Rights Issues, a committee that sought to address educational inequities at historically black colleges and universities in the south. This committee helped changed innumerable aspects of PVAMU’s operations and physical facilities, making the university a better place for students and faculty.
At Prairie View, Dr. Martin met his wife, Pearl, who was an art teacher at the college. They married and had three children.
Dr. Martin’s passion to inspire students has transformed him into a positive role model with untold influence over PVAMU students.
URL (Click to bookmark): http://www.visionaryproject.org/martinedward