Celebrating the life of Calvin O. Atchison, Sr.

Dr. Atchison shows his Alpha coats after receiving them following a special recognition from his Alpha brothers.

Saying farewell to a legacy is never easy. The life of Dr. Calvin Oglin Atchison, Sr. (September 15, 1920-November 5, 2018) was celebrated on November 9 and 10.

Memorial services and a reception were held on November 9 and November 10 to celebrate the life of well known friend, dedicated employee of Tennessee State University, active and proud fraternity brother of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Tau Lamda Chapter, dedicated member of Clark Memorial United Methodist Church and loving family member.

Calvin O. Atchison III was born in 1920 to Charlie and Vada Atchison. He grew up in Washington County, Alabama where he attended Keonton School until graduation from high school. Upon graduating, he attended Alabama A&M College in Normal, Alabama where he remained on the honor roll each year, thus graduating with honors with a degree in elementary education. He than did a tour of service with the United States Navy where he met and married Amanda Rosettta Atchison, who preceded him in death.

Following a stint of study at Columbia University in New York City in clinical psychology and in Charlotte, North Carolina, Atchison received the Danforth Fellowship and took a year to complete his doctorate in educational psychology. He then reported to Tennessee State University where he began a distinguished career. He worked his way up from an associate professor to full professor to coordinator of graduate studies, to assistant graduate dean, to director of development, to vice president of research and development—and finally to executive director of the Tennessee State University Education Foundation.

Dr. Atchison served on numerous boards. During his tenure he was often appointed to serve of boards by the various mayors of Metro Nashville, including serving as: chair of the Human Relations Committee; the Metro Development of Housing Agency (MDHA); and the Metro Action Commission, with the community center at Preston Taylor Homes being named in his honor.

Dr. Atchison maintained doing all of those things in addition to being an active and dedicated member of Clark Memorial United Methodist Church since 1953. At Clark he served on many boards following his immediate appointment as Lay Servant when he joined. He also served as ‘offertory steward,’ and as chairs of Higher Education and Campus Ministry, Stewardship, Endowment Committee, Church Council and a team member of Worship and Celebrations, on the Staff Parish Committee and the United Methodist Men. He was also appointed, by the Bishop to attend the Methodist World Conference in Dublin, Ireland.

“Dr. Atchison’s calm and quiet demeanor will be missed by many,” said a Clark Memorial member. “He was a quiet mover and shaker that got things done without a lot of tension or confusion.”

He leaves to cherish his memory: his sister, Victoria Holcomb; children, Antionette Martin (Joseph), Calvin Atchison II; grandchildren, JoAnna Webb, Jasmine Webb, Jerry Webb-Fisher, Nathaniel Webb-Fisher, Monique Alsup, Darius Moore, Italia Meacham and Kandin Martin-Atchison; and a host of relatives and friends.

The Calvin O. Atchison Summer Academy

The Calvin O. Atchison Summer Academy is the debut of a six-week summer reading program kicked off this past summer at Clark Memorial United Methodist Church. This program accepted youth from Kindergarten through fourth grades at no cost. It was named in honor of the beloved Dr. Calvin O. Atchison.