The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

New scholarship honors former professor

This year’s Spring Awards convocation included a new scholarship named for former Guilford professor Edward Flud Burrows. Henry Cordeal, junior and peace and conflict studies major, received the newly endowed scholarship at the April 15 event.

The teacher-nominated scholarship for rising juniors and seniors is for an individual who has shown commitment in the areas of peace studies, racial justice and gay and lesbian issues.

Cordeal is the treasurer for Forevergreen and one of the main coordinators for the vegetable co-op. He also engages in social justice work off campus by working at a summer camp for teenage boys.

“He talks to the students about issues of justice, especially around issues of race, gender, and sexuality. He has found that the kids at the camp are receptive to these conversations, and change their behavior more quickly than the adults with whom he has similar conversations,” said Maria Rosales, assistant professor of political science.

“I was pretty excited about receiving the award,” said Cordeal. “However, it is very strange to receive a cash award for doing something in the name of ‘justice,’ and I believe that Ed Burrows would recognize my criticisms as legitimate.”

“Henry takes his values seriously, making decisions based on principle, even if the decision is not obviously in his self-interest,” said Rosales.

“Henry’s really serious about injustice and problems in our economic system,” said Robert G. Williams, Voehringer professor of economics. “He worked very hard to understand the system that produces poverty along with great wealth, and then how he could help change it . this is how Ed Burrows was, too.”

Ed Burrows taught at Guilford from 1948 to 1979, and though he was not a Quaker, “he had what many think of as the best of Quakerism,” said Richie Zweigenhaft, Dana professor of psychology.

A conscientious objector in WWII, he was arrested, tried and sentenced to two years in a federal penitentiary.

“It was while I was in prison that I experienced more fully, a truly integrated society,” wrote Burrows in his autobiography, “Edward Flud Burrows, One Southerner’s Story.”

He was born and raised on a cotton farm in South Carolina. His great grandmother is listed in the 1850’s census as being one of the largest slave owners in that state. Burrows’ sympathy for the sharecroppers and day laborers made it evident that he knew from an early age that his ethical vision was far different than that of his beloved family.

“He spent his life trying to change the system he inherited,” said Williams. “He tackled some of the deepest-entrenched problems of society.”

Burrows’ profound concern with race relations drove him to be a part of the motivating force to admit black students to Guilford. He held discreet meetings in his home with students and faculty from A&T, Bennett and Guilford discussing race relations as he questioned the compatibility of democracy and segregation.

Creation of this scholarship started ten years ago with Zweigenhaft, Williams, and a committee of alumni, raising money to honor Burrows’ legacy. Burrows influenced many students and had a large, enthusiastic following that would visit him when they came to Greensboro.

They fell a little short to create an endowed scholarship, until five years ago when Warren Stewart ’68, former trustee and student of Burrows, donated the funds needed to generate the endowment.

“Henry’s a great choice for the first one,” said Williams “Ed Burrows would have appreciated it.

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    Richard G. CookMar 6, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    I was a personal friend of Ed’s .. while at the University of Wisconsin. 1947-1951. He wrote a book about his relationships in which he called me Fred; I asked him to put out a second edition with my real name in it. He was the best friend I have ever had….We met in a food co-op . I am now 94 years old.