The ITC Planning Committee

This committee of five worked for several months on basic plan for establishing the ITC.  After seven months in planning the committee gave a “reports of agreement.” It is from this basic agreement that ITC operates from. Here you will find information on those who served on the committee. The key figures of this committee were:

F. D. Patterson, former president of Tuskegee University and founder of the United Negro College Fund was an original member of the ITC planning committee. Patterson, a friend of Harry V. Richardson from their days at Tuskegee, was instrumental in the initial development of the Interdenominational Theological Center. Patterson arranged a two hour meeting in New York between Harry V. Richardson and the Rockefeller foundation on January 10, 1956. The meeting was about funding for the Gammon School of Theology. The foundation would later donate land and money to build the ITC.

Dr. Ernest Cadman Colwell, chairman of the planning committee for ITC, and first chairman of the ITC Board. Cowell, former President of the University of Chicago and Dean of Faculties at Emory University, was elected the first chairman of the ITC Board of Trustees and served from November 7, 1957 - April 12, 1962. He was highly effective in raising funds and in completing the organization of ITC.


Henry Van Duesen

Founding fathers and trustees left to right: Dr. F.D. Patterson, founder of the United College Fund; Dr. E.C. Colwell, and Dr. Henry P. Van Dusen, President of the Union Theological Seminary in New York and second chairman of the I.T.C. board. May 2, 1961.

Henry P. VanDusen was ITC board chair from April 12, 1962 to April 28, 1970. He was the former president of Union Theological Seminary in New York. He also served on the ITC planning committee.

Dr. Merrill J. Holmes was a member of the Clark College board of trustees and also a member of the original planning committee of ITC. Holmes would be the first to ask Harry V. Richardson about his knowledge of the Rockefeller fund.

Dr. Walter N. Roberts was president of the American Association of Theological schools and a member of the original ITC planning committee.