The latest in our “what is going on at…” series focuses on Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee. Bryan is an evangelical (fundamentalist?) Christian college named after William Jennings Bryan and located in the same town where he attempted to defend creationism at the famous Scopes Trial.
I have actually been to Bryan College. In 2008 I was doing a week-long Gilder Lehrman Institute seminar in Bledsoe County, Tennessee and drove over the mountain to Dayton on an afternoon off from teaching. I toured the courthouse where the Scopes Trial took place and then drove through Bryan’s campus.
I am guessing that the Bryan campus is a lot less peaceful these days than it was on that warm summer afternoon in 2008. According to a large group of student protesters, it appears that the Bryan administration has been clamping down on faculty who do not hold to a strict creationist view of human origins. Here is a taste of an article from the Chattanooga Times-Free Press describing the student protest: