Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities

Draughon Seminars in State & Local History


About the Program

With illustrator KaArie Gillis, authors Marti Rosner and Frye Gaillard share with young readers one of the most inspirational stories in American philanthropy. In the early years of the 20th century, Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears Roebuck & Co., worked with educator Booker T. Washington and grassroots leaders across the South to build more than 5,000 schools for African American children. Graduates of these life-changing institutions include Maya Angelou, John Lewis, and Pulitzer Prize winners Eugene Robinson and Cynthia Tucker. After multiple interviews and extensive research, Rosner and Gaillard tell the story through the eager questions of Ezra, a curious little boy inspired by Rosner’s own mixed race grandchildren. The result is an accessible, easy to read account - a history of hope in a difficult time that should not be forgotten.

About the Presenters

Frye Gaillard is an award-winning journalist with over 30 published works on Southern history and culture. He is the winner of the Clarence Cason Award for Nonfiction Writing, the Lillian Smith Book Award, and the Eugene Current-Garcia Award For Distinction in Literary Scholarship. In 2019, Gaillard was awarded the Alabama Governor's Arts Award for his contributions to literature.

Marti S. Rosner has been an educator for over 40 years. She has worked as a classroom teacher, District Academic Coach serving Title I schools in Cobb County, Georgia, and most recently led writing workshops for teachers and students at her granddaughter’s elementary school. Through the years, she has also enjoyed leading a variety of professional development classes.

Draughon Seminars in State and Local History

Draughon Seminars in State and Local History are a series of lectures sponsored by the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University. The series is funded by the Kelly Mosley Endowment in honor of Dr. Ralph B. Draughon, president of Auburn University from 1947 to 1965. Draughon was a historian with a deep commitment to both state history and public education. 

Presentations and discussions are offered free of charge on a first come, first served basis to public libraries, historical societies, and other organizations. 

To schedule a program with Frye Gaillard and Marti Rosner, email

Last Updated: May 02, 2022