As HBCU alums, we proudly represent America's most prestigious and historic Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). HBCUs are higher education institutions established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide academic opportunities to black students who were denied access to predominantly white institutions. Today, HBCUs continue to offer a unique and valuable educational experience for students of all races, cultures, and backgrounds. We aim to encourage students to seriously consider attending an HBCU.
HBCUs have played a significant role in shaping America's history and culture, producing many of the country's most influential and successful leaders, including civil rights activists, politicians, business leaders, scientists, artists, and athletes. HBCUs have also been at the forefront of academic research and innovation, contributing to advancements in science, medicine, engineering, and technology.
HBCUs have also contributed to the overall diversity of the American workforce by producing many black professionals in various fields. According to a study by the United Negro College Fund, HBCUs produce 20% of all black graduates, including 25% of all black graduates in STEM fields, 50% of black teachers, and 70% of black dentists and physicians. The impact of HBCUs extends beyond the professional world, as they have played a vital role in shaping America's cultural and social landscape.
Furthermore, black professionals who graduated from HBCUs have achieved significant career success. A study by the Wall Street Journal found that HBCU graduates were more likely to become CEOs of Fortune 500 companies than graduates from any other type of college or university. HBCU graduates also earn higher salaries than their counterparts from other institutions, according to a report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.
HBCUs are known not only for their cultural significance but also their academic excellence. Several HBCUs have received high rankings from reputable sources such as U.S. News & World Report and Forbes. For example, Howard University, the alma mater of Kamala Harris (the first Black and South Asian Vice President of the United States), is ranked as the #2 HBCU in America and 80th in the top 100 national universities by U.S. News & World Report. Spelman College, a women's college in Atlanta, is consistently ranked as the #1 HBCU and among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the country.
The Black Ivy League
There are over 100 HBCUs across the country, each with its own unique history and mission; however, a group of HBCUs is considered to be the equivalent of the Ivy League schools in terms of academic excellence, reputation, and influence. The eight Black Ivy League schools are as follows (in no particular order):
Howard University - Founded in 1867, Howard University is one of the country's oldest and most prestigious HBCUs. The university is located in Washington, D.C., and is known for its strong medical, law, and business programs.
Spelman College - Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a women's HBCU in Atlanta, Georgia. The college is consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges nationwide. It is known for its strong programs in the sciences and humanities.
Morehouse College - Founded in 1867, Morehouse College is a men's HBCU in Atlanta, Georgia. The college is known for its robust programs in business and economics and has produced several notable alums, including Martin Luther King Jr.
Hampton University - Hampton University is located in Hampton, Virginia, and was founded in 1868. It has a renowned marine science program and is well known for its programs in nursing and business.
Fisk University - Founded in 1866, Fisk University is a private liberal arts college located in Nashville, Tennessee. Fisk has produced alums like W.E.B. Du Bois and Nikki Giovanni and is well known for its music programs.
Tuskegee University - Tuskegee University is a private historically Black university located founded in 1881 in Tuskegee, Alabama. It is well known for its programs in engineering and agriculture. Some notable alumni include George Washington Carver and Lionel Richie.
Xavier University of Louisiana - Located in New Orleans, Louisiana, Xavier University of Louisiana is known for its strong programs in the sciences and pharmacy. It was founded in 1915 and has produced many notable alumni, including Regina Benjamin and Marc Morial.
North Carolina A&T State University - North Carolina A&T State University is a public historically Black university founded in Greensboro, North Carolina. It is the largest HBCU in the country and is known for its strong programs in engineering and agriculture. Its most notable alumni include Jesse Jackson and Taraji P. Henson.
HBCUs have notable alumni, spanning from authors and civil rights leaders to athletes, scientists, and public servants. A few notable alumni can be found below:
Chadwick Boseman, the critically acclaimed actor known for his roles in "Black Panther", "42", and "Get on Up," attended Howard University. Boseman was a proud HBCU graduate who often spoke about Howard's impact on his life and career.
Kamala Harris is the first Black American and South Asian woman to be elected Vice President of the United States. Harris attended Howard University for her undergraduate degree before attending law school at the University of California, Hastings. During her time at Howard, Harris was heavily involved in student activism and politics, which helped shape her career path.
Stacey Abrams, who made history in 2018 as the first Black woman to win a major party nomination for governor in the United States, attended Spelman College for her undergraduate degree. Abrams is a political trailblazer, author, and voting rights advocate, well known for organizing Georgia's voter registration and turnout efforts.
Oprah Winfrey, one of the most influential media personalities in the world, attended Tennessee State University, where she studied communication. During those years, she got her start in media as a radio host. She later went on to critically acclaimed shows like the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Oprah Winfrey Network(OWN). Winfrey has frequently spoken about how her time at TSU impacted her career and personal growth.
Toni Morrison, who was of the most decorated and celebrated American authors of the 20th century, attended Howard University for her undergraduate degree before earning a master's degree from Cornell University. Morrison is a highly awarded novelist, awarded both a Nobel Prize in literature and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She is well known for her critically acclaimed novels, such as "Beloved" and "The Bluest Eye", which have profoundly impacted American literature and the Black experience.
HBCUs also have a significant impact on the communities they serve. Many HBCUs are located in areas with high poverty rates and limited access to higher education. By providing affordable and accessible education, HBCUs play a vital role in improving the economic mobility of these communities. Additionally, HBCUs often have a solid commitment to community service and social justice, which can inspire their students to become leaders and agents of change in their communities.
Attending an HBCU can be a transformative experience for students. HBCUs provide a supportive, inclusive environment that celebrates black culture and promotes academic excellence. Additionally, HBCU students often have access to unique resources and opportunities, such as specialized academic programs, research opportunities, and mentorship from successful alums. The strong sense of community and shared identity among HBCU students can also provide a valuable support network and connections throughout one's career.
In conclusion, HBCUs continue to play an essential role in America's higher education landscape, producing successful professionals and contributing to their community's social and economic mobility. HBCUs offer unique educational opportunities and a supportive and inclusive environment that celebrates black culture and promotes academic excellence. Whether you are interested in STEM fields, the arts, social sciences, or any other field, there is an HBCU that can provide you with the education and resources you need to succeed. Consider attending an HBCU and become part of a rich tradition of excellence and achievement.
For more information on HBCUs, please visit the following resources: