Lina H. McCord Program
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The program was conceptualized by Lina H. McCord, Black College Fund Executive Director from 1979 to 1985, and Paula Watson, United Methodist Communications Field Representative. In 1981, two student itinerants were sent to the Northeastern Jurisdiction to field-test the concept. The project was rated very highly by annual conference participants and by the students. Between the years 1982 and 1986, five students itinerated, one per jurisdiction, in the Black College Fund Student Itineration Program. The program was renamed the Lina H. McCord Summer Intern Program when Mrs. McCord retired in 1985.
Dr. Shirley A. R. Lewis became Executive Director in 1986. In January, 1992, Lewis was promoted to Assistant General Secretary and the Black College Fund Office was elevated to a section within the Division of Higher Education. The student intern program has continued to grow and to be well received by the Church. Since 1987, requests for interns have increased significantly, and the program has taken on a new shape. As more and more conferences have requested *interns to participate in the annual conference meetings, an increased number of field placements are made during peak calendar periods.
Students usually cross jurisdictions at least once. Students completing short-term assignments will itinerate for periods ranging in length of time from one to five weeks. The regular schedule of itineration lasts for five to six weeks. The itineration is exciting and informative. Students have the opportunity to go new places and meet new people.
Since 1987, ambassadors with exceptional communication and promotional skills serve as special consultants and help conduct Orientation. Students are designated interns during their first itineration and become ambassadors (a permanent designation which allows continued travel on behalf of the Fund) upon successful completion of their first round of assignments.
About Lina H. McCord
Mrs. Lina H. McCord attended Morristown College in Morristown, Tennessee, one of the original twelve institutions which participated in the Black College Fund. She worked for the General Board of Discipleship and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry for twenty-seven years and served as Executive Director of the Black College Fund from 1979 to 1985. Mrs. McCord lived in Nashville and was an active laywoman who served on numerous committees and organizations including national and local BMCR, local church pastor parish relations committee, United Methodist Women, etc.
While Executive Director of the Black College Fund, Mrs. McCord, along with United Methodist Communications Field Consultant, Ms. Paula Watson, conceptualized the original Student Itineration Program. Students were sent to the Northeastern Jurisdiction as a pilot program. The program was received very positively. The next year, the Black College Student Itineration Program began with five students.
When Mrs. McCord retired in 1985, the Council of Presidents of the United Methodist Historically Black Colleges declared that future students would be known as Lina H. McCord Summer Interns. The Council's resolution follows:
Whereas Lina H. McCord has rendered extraordinary services of high quality to the Black College Fund of The United Methodist Church;
And whereas, as part of her work on behalf of the Black College Fund she initiated a program of summer interns to carry firsthand to the United Methodists the message of the importance of the Black College Fund and the United Methodist Church to the livelihood of the 12 colleges historically related to the Church; and
Whereas these interns through their spirit and dedication, exemplify the life and meaning of Lina McCord and that the memory of that spirit should last forever; The Council of Presidents
Resolves that the summer program be continued as the Summer Itineration Program and that the students be, and hereby are, to be known for all time as the Lina H. McCord Summer Interns; and in recognition of the rights and responsibilities of the various judicatories of the Church, and the Council of Presidents.
Further resolves that the Associate General Secretary or the appropriate office of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry take appropriate steps to secure approval of the various judicatories to make real the sentiments of this resolution.
Done by the Council of Presidents at Nashville, Tennessee this 20th day of September, 1985.
Mrs. McCord died January 29, 2010.