Allen Louis Code, Sr.
EducatorAllen Louis Code, Sr., the ninth child of P. A. and Hester Code, was born in Pinewood, S.C., on November 26, 1911. His parents believed in cultivating the land and maintaining African American farms. As a youth, he would not have envisioned being chosen as one of a "Thousand Points of Light" by President George Bush or of receiving The Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest honor. Because of his life's work, however, he truly deserved these recognitions.
Code graduated from the high school department at Morris College in Sumter, S.C. He then earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Benedict College in 1936, and his Master of Arts Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1955. His education, dedication and skills aided his becoming one of South Carolina's exceptional educators. His administrative and teaching development was meteoric.
His work experience and education began in 1935. He became a science teacher, coach, and assistant principal at the all-black Oconee County Training School. His outstanding achievements netted him positions as principal and coach at Blue Ridge High School. At Blue Ridge, he was one of the most successful girls' basketball coaches in South Carolina, winning numerous conference championships and several state championships. Code later became Superintendent of Seneca Negro Schools, State Supervisor of Adult Education, and Director and Visiting Professor of Adult Education at South Carolina State College. Affectionately known as "Fessor Code" by his students, he always wanted to be referred to as a teacher.
Code became affiliated with St. James United Methodist Church in 1930 and served the church in many capacities throughout his life. He was also a member of the Seneca Masonic Lodge No. 204.
He volunteered for the armed services in 1948 and participated in the Korean War. During his tenure with the U.S. Army, he was a Master Sergeant, Battalion Sergeant Major, and acting Chaplain of the 360th Port Battalion.
This outstanding educator was a public servant and a leader in the effort to guarantee a smooth transition from segregation to desegregation in South Carolina. As Chairman of the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission, 1977-1980, he used quiet diplomacy and gentle persuasion to generate racial harmony. During his life, Code served on many regional and national boards, including the Negro Review, Phillis Wheatley National Foundation, Columbia College Advisory Board, and Wofford College Board of Trustees. A prolific writer, he contributed to books on African American history, economics, and adult education. Code was the recipient of many awards and honors, among them, the Service to Mankind Award by the Seneca Sertoma Club, the Blue Ridge School Outstanding and Dedicated Service Award, the Benedict College Education and Research Clinic Award, the South Carolina State Department of Adult Education Hall of Fame, the Seneca Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award, and an Honorary Doctorate from Wofford College. In recognition of his outstanding leadership in Oconee County, the former Blue Ridge High School where he taught was renamed Code Elementary School.
"Fessor Code" died on November 7, 1995, but his legacy of leadership in public education will remain as a result of the indelible imprint which he left on his state and nation.