This story appeared in The Times & Free Press on Wednesday, July 12, 2000.

Longtime Educator, Activist Dr. Claude C. Bond, 89, Dies

Dr. Claude Conklin Bond, a longtime educator and community activist, died Tuesday at his residence. He was 89.

Dr. Bond, a principal at Howard High School and later an administrator in the city school system, also made his mark on the community with his work toward improving race relations.

For his overall leadership, he was presented the Chattanooga Kiwanis Club's Distinguished Service Award in January.

The Humanities Building at Chattanooga State Technical Community College is named for Dr. Bond, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga honored him with a minority professorship in education in his name.

"He has permeated every facet of the community, not just in public, but behind the scenes," longtime friend John Franklin, a former principal and Chattanooga city commissioner, said of Dr. Bond in January. "He had the ability to bring people together."

Dr. Bond was born in Brownsville, Tenn., to a mother who was a school teacher and a father who could neither read nor write. Two of his great-great-grandparents were slaves.

After graduation from high school, Dr. Bond obtained a teaching certificate and taught in his native Haywood County when he was just 17. He eventually saved enough money to enter Lane College in Jackson, Tenn., where he was a student leader and athlete.

Upon his graduation, Dr. Bond entered the teaching field full time. He later served as principal of Montgomery High School in Lexington, Tenn., for 21 years. He came to Chattanooga in 1956, serving as principal of Howard, then as coordinator for general education for the city system, and then as assistant superintendent for pupil personnel services.

In addition to his bachelor's degree from Lane College, he also earned a master's degree from Fisk University in Nashville, a degree of specialist in educational administration from George Peabody College in Nashville, and an honorary doctorate from Lane.

After his retirement, Dr. Bond was named a member of the Chattanooga Board of Education, becoming its vice chairman. He also served nine years on the Tennessee Board of Regents; six years as a member of the State Court of the Judiciary; as a board member and officer of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce; on the board of admissions for CSTCC; and on the UTC Chancellors' Roundtable.

In addition to the Kiwanis Distinguished Service Award, he also received the Sertoma Heritage Award, the Tennessee Education Association Presidential Merit Award, the Phi Delta Kappa Educator of the Year Award, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Alpha Achievement Award and the Liberty Bell Award. He was a life member of the National Education Association and the NAACP.

Beyond the awards and achievements, Dr. Bond's most lasting legacy may have come in his efforts to forge a more integrated society through the building of relationships between blacks and whites. Early in his career at Howard, he instituted a series of gatherings that facilitated such relationships. Similar events that exist in Chattanooga today are due to his pioneering.

"He is a very altruistic person," Dr. Charlotte Garth, a fellow teacher and church member, said of Dr. Bond in January. "It didn't matter if you were green or yellow or what color you were. Anyone who had a problem, anyone who asked him for assistance -- he'd do anything he possibly could."

Dr. Bond is survived by his wife, Mildred; daughter, Patricia B. Hutto; and grandson, Claude Hutto.

The funeral will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church, 506 East Eighth St., with the Rev. Adam McKee and the Rev. V.J. Caldwell officiating. The body will be at the church one hour before the service. Burial arrangements will be announced.

Visitation will be Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Avondale Chapel of the Franklin-Strickland Funeral Home.


Copyright © 2000, Chattanooga Publishing Co. All rights reserved.
This document cannot be reprinted without express written permission.

Reproduced on this web site with permission given by Alex Chambliss, Assistant City Editor, July 20, 2000.


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