Lucy Slowe regularly shared information about her activities with her students. Her “…platform posture was excellent. She used few gestures – just a lift of the hand here or there. The effectiveness came through the voice – a sonorous, low, clear one. Whatever lecture notes she used were never noticeable so that she created the impression of speaking directly to each member of the audience.” In one of her addresses, she told Howard students about her visit to Talladega College. When, on November 20, 1927, she spoke about the visit, she told them that she had traveled to Talladega to be the guest of the Board of Trustees at the dedication of two new buildings – the science hall and the dining hall. She described the institution as “an intellectual oasis in the State of Alabama.”
Talladega is an African-American college that had been founded just two years prior to Howard. Its history is grounded in the efforts of two former slaves who, with other freed men, regarded “…the education of our children and youth as vital to the preservation of our liberties, and true religion as the foundation of all real virtue, and shall use our utmost endeavors to promote these blessings in our common country.” Like so many other colleges for African-Americans, the Freedmen’s Bureau and the American Missionary Association provided financial support.
Dedication of two buildings – Silsby Hall of Science and Fanning Hall, the College Refectory – was an auspicious occasion, taking place at the time of Talladega College’s sixtieth anniversary. To attend the two-day event -November 12-13, 1927 -the Trustees had invited “One of the most notable groups of educators of National repute and of representatives of leading Negro Colleges that has come together in recent years.” The 102 individuals listed as “Special Guests” represented colleges and universities as well as philanthropic groups, such as the American Missionary Association and the General Education Board, and included scientists of note. The elaborate program of events included morning worship on Sunday, November 13, and a conference on the teaching of the sciences in “Colleges for Negroes.” Lucy Slowe was the only representative listed from Howard University. It is interesting to note that the address for the dedication of Silsby Hall was given by Juliette Aline Derricotte, a 1918 graduate of Talladega, and Slowe’s associate as National Secretary of the YWCA. Also noteworthy is the fact that the keys to the building were presented by Trustee George W. Crawford, a 1900 graduate who was also a Howard University Trustee.
Three years later, Talladega College invited Slowe to return, this time to spend a week as college pastor. By this time, Juliette Derricotte, who by then had the distinction of being the only woman trustee at her alma mater, might have been instrumental in extending the invitation. To Slowe’s credit, Talladega’s Dean of Women, Marion V. Cuthbert, complimented her in a letter to President Johnson for her work at the College, where she spent several days in January, 1930, as College Pastor. Cuthbert thanked Johnson for permitting Dean Slowe to serve in that capacity and added, “We have not had a pastor this year to whom the students warmed so thoroughly as to Dean Slowe. Her messages at College Chapel were powerful in their simplicity and pungent bits are still being quoted around the campus.”