Howard University: Wikis


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Howard University

Howard University seal
Motto Veritas et Utilitas
Motto in English Truth and Service
Established March 2, 1867 (1867-03-02)
Type Private, HBCU
Endowment US$404.1 million[1]
Chairman Addison Barry Rand
President Sidney A. Ribeau
Faculty 1,064[2]
Staff 1,950 (with another 1,919 at the Hospital)[2]
Undergraduates 7,000
Postgraduates 2,000
Location Washington, D.C.,
United States
Campus Urban; 258 acres (1.0 km²)
Former names Howard Normal and Theological School for the Education of Teachers and Preachers
Associations Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
Sports basketball, swimming, volleyball, tennis, soccer, football
Colors Red, White, and Blue
Nickname Bison
Athletics NCAA Division I

Howard University is a federally chartered, non-profit, private, coeducational, nonsectarian, historically black university located in Washington, D.C., United States.

Today, it is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund[3] and is partially funded by the US Government, which gives approximately $235 million annually.[4][5] From its outset, it was nonsectarian and open to people of both sexes and all races.[6] Howard has graduate schools of pharmacy, law, medicine, dentistry and divinity, in addition to the undergraduate program.



Main Hall and Miner Hall in 1868. Miner Hall is located to the left.

In November 1866, shortly after the end of the Civil War, members of The First Congregational Society of Washington considered establishing a theological seminary for the education of African-American clergymen. Within a few weeks, the project expanded to include a provision for establishing a university. Within two years, the University consisted of the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Medicine. The new institution was named for General Oliver Otis Howard, a Civil War hero, who was both the founder of the University and, at the time, Commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau. Howard later served as President of the university from 1869-74.[7]

Congress chartered Howard on March 2, 1867, and much of its early funding came from endowment, private benefaction, and tuition. An annual congressional appropriation administered by the U.S. Department of Education funds Howard University and Howard University Hospital.[8]

Howard University has played an important role in American history and the Civil Rights Movement on a number of occasions. Alain Locke, Chair of the Department of Philosophy and first African American Rhodes Scholar, authored The New Negro, which helped to usher in the Harlem Renaissance.[9] Ralph Bunche, the first Nobel Peace Prize winner of African descent, served as chair of the Department of Political Science.[10] Stokely Carmichael, also known as Kwame Toure, a student in the Department of Philosophy and the Howard University School of Divinity coined the term "Black Power" and worked in Lowndes County, Alabama as a voting rights activist.[11] Historian Rayford Logan served as chair of the Department of History.[12] E. Franklin Frazier served as chair of the Department of Sociology.[13] Sterling Allen Brown served as chair of the Department of English.

Thurgood Marshall wanted to apply to his hometown law school, the University of Maryland School of Law, but was told that he would not be accepted due to the school's segregation policy. Marshall enrolled at Howard University School of Law instead. There he studied under Charles Hamilton Houston, a Harvard Law School graduate and leading civil rights lawyer who at the time was the dean of Howard's law school. Houston took Marshall under his wing, and the two forged a friendship that would last for the remainder of Houston's life. Howard University was the site where Marshall and his team of legal scholars from around the nation prepared to argue the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case.[14]

Presidents of Howard University
1867 Charles B. Boynton
1867 – 1869 Byron Sunderland
1869 – 1874 Oliver Otis Howard
1875 – 1876 Edward P. Smith
1877 – 1889 William W. Patton
1890 – 1903 Jeremiah E. Rankin
1903 – 1906 John Gordon
1906 – 1912 Wilbur P. Thirkield
1912 – 1918 Stephen M. Newman
1918 – 1926 J. Stanley Durkee
1926 – 1960 Mordecai Wyatt Johnson
1960 – 1969 James M. Nabrit
1969 – 1989 James E. Cheek
1990 – 1994 Franklyn G. Jenifer
1994 –1995 Joyce A. Ladner
1995 – 2008 H. Patrick Swygert
2008 – present Sidney A. Ribeau

In 1918, all the secondary schools of the university were abolished and the whole plan of undergraduate work changed. The four-year college course was divided into two periods of two years each, the Junior College, and the Senior Schools. The semester system was abolished in 1919 and the quarter system substituted. Twenty-three new members were added to the faculty between the reorganization of 1918 and 1923. A dining hall building with class rooms for the department of home economics was built in 1921 at a cost of $301,000. A greenhouse was erected in 1919.[citation needed] Howard Hall was renovated and made a dormitory for girls; many improvements were made on campus; J. Stanley Durkee, Howard's last white president, was appointed in 1918.[15]

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered a speech to the graduating class at Howard, where he outlined his plans for civil rights legislation and endorsed aggressive affirmative action to combat the effects of years of segregation of blacks from the nation's economic opportunities.[16]

In 1975 the historic Freedman's Hospital closed after 112 years of use as Howard University College of Medicine's primary teaching hospital. Howard University Hospital opened that same year and continues to be used as Howard University College of Medicine's primary teaching hospital with service to the surrounding community.

In 1989, Howard gained national attention when students rose up in protest against the appointment of then-Republican National Committee Chairman Lee Atwater as a new member of the university's Board of Trustees. Student activists disrupted Howard's 122nd anniversary celebrations, and eventually occupied the university's Administration building.[17] Within days, both Atwater and Howard's President, James E. Cheek, resigned.

In April 2007 the head of the faculty senate called for the ouster of Howard University President H. Patrick Swygert, saying that the school was in a state of crisis and it was time to end “an intolerable condition of incompetence and dysfunction at the highest level.”[18] This came on the heels of several criticisms of Howard University and its management. The following month, Swygert announced that he would retire in June 2008.[19] The university announced in May 2008 that Sidney Ribeau of Bowling Green State University would succeed Swygert as president.[20]

On September 4, 2009, 350 students and union workers protested the failure of the financial aid office to distribute promised funds to students. Students also sought a recycling program, technology upgrades and more on-campus housing. Members of SEIU local 32BJ protested the possible outsourcing of cleaning services to contractors whose wages would undercut Howard's union contract.[21]


Founders Library is an iconic building on the Howard University campus that has been declared a National Historic Landmark.

The 256 acres (1.04 km2; 0.400 sq mi) campus is located in northwest Washington.[2] Major improvements, additions, and changes occurred at the school in the aftermadth of World War I. New buildings were built under the direction of architect Albert Cassell.[22] Howard's buildings and plant have a value of $567.6 million[23]


Schools and colleges

The Howard University School of Law

Though founded in 1879, the School of Law was accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) in 1931, and in the same year the school was granted membership in the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). Today, Howard School of Law confers an average of 185 Jurist Doctorate and Master of Law degrees annually to students from the United States and countries in South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. It has a faculty of approximately 50 full-time and adjunct professors. From its humble beginnings, the school has grown in size, structure and stature under the leadership of its deans. Among the more nationally noted are Charles Hamilton Houston, 1930-1935; William H. Hastie, 1939-1946; James M. Nabrit, Jr. [1], 1958-1960; Spottswood Robinson III, 1960-1963; and Wiley A. Branton, Sr., 1978-1983.[24]

In 1872, the law school graduated the first black woman lawyer, Charlotte E. Ray. She is also recognized as the first woman to be admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. James C. Napier, another 1872 graduate, was the Registrar of the United States Treasury, 1911-1913, and a member of Howard’s Board of Trustees, 1911-1940. Other graduates who have received merited recognition and distinctions include Thurgood Marshall, the first black United States Supreme Court Justice (LL.B. 1933); Vernon Jordan, Jr. former president of the National Urban League, (LL.B. 1960); Damon Keith, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, (LL.B. 1949); William Bryant[2], Judge, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, (LL.B 1936); Spottswood William Robinson III, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, (LL.B. 1939); Douglas Wilder, former Governor of the State of Virginia; Sharon Pratt Kelly, former Mayor of the District of Columbia; and Adrian Fenty, current Mayor of the District of Columbia.[25]

Research Centers

Moorland-Spingarn Research Center

The Moorland-Spingarn Research Center (MSRC) is recognized as one of the world's largest and most comprehensive repositories for the documentation of the history and culture of people of African descent in Africa, the Americas, and other parts of the world. The MSRC collects, preserves, and makes available for research a wide range of resources chronicling black experiences.[26]

Student body

Howard undergraduates have a mean composite SAT score of 1,082.[2] The students come from the following regions: New England 2%, Mid-West 8%. South 22%, Mid-Atlantic 55%, and West 12%.[2]

As of 2006, Howard's six year graduation rate was 67.5%.[27] In 2009, 1,270 of the 1,476 full time freshmen enrolled were found to have financial need (86%). Of these, Howard could meet the full financial aid needs of 316 freshmen.[28] Howard's average undergraduate student's indebtedness at graduation is $16,798.[28]

Student activities

Mock Trial

Howard University was the first team to win two national championships in the same year, both the 1997 National Silver Flight Tournament and the 1997 National Championship. Additionally, the Howard Team has been listed in the Top Ten Teams in the nation for over 9 times and has won the 2000 National Silver Flight Championship, the 1998 and 2003 Eastern Regional Championship and the 2003 National Division Title. In April 2006, the team placed third in the nation. Howard University continues to qualify for national tournaments.


Howard University is the publisher of The Journal of Negro Education which began publication in 1932.

Greek letter organizations

Fraternities and sororities founded at Howard University:
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha (1908)
  • Omega Psi Phi (1911)
  • Delta Sigma Theta (1913)
  • Phi Beta Sigma (1914)
  • Zeta Phi Beta (1920)

Howard University is a home to all nine National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) organizations; however, it is a historic site for six NPHC groups. The Beta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha was the first to appear in 1907.[29] The Alpha Chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha (1908), Delta Sigma Theta (1913), Omega Psi Phi (1911), Phi Beta Sigma (1914), and Zeta Phi Beta (1920) were established on the Howard campus.[30] Also in 1920, the Xi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi appeared on the campus, followed by the Alpha Phi Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho in 1939, and the Alpha Tau Chapter of Iota Phi Theta in 1983.

Other Greek letter organizations registered at Howard include Delta Sigma Pi, Phi Sigma Pi, Alpha Phi Omega, Alpha Nu Omega, Alpha Kappa Psi, Gamma Iota Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha, Sigma Alpha Iota, Gamma Sigma Sigma, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Tau Beta Sigma.


2009 MEAC football standings
     Conf       Overall
Team W   L     W   L
#8 South Carolina State 8 0     10 2
#23 Florida A&M 6 2     8 3
Norfolk State 5 3     7 4
Morgan State 4 4     6 5
Bethune–Cookman 4 4     5 6
Delaware State 3 4     4 6
Hampton 3 5     5 6
North Carolina A&T 2 5     4 6
Howard 0 8     2 9

† – Conference Champion
Rankings: The Sports Network FCS Poll

Athletic teams compete in the NCAA as a part of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The teams play under the name Howard Bison and use a similar logo to that of the Buffalo Bills professional football team.


Howard University has conferred over 99,318 degrees and certificates in its 140-year history.[citation needed]. Notable alumni include: choreographer/actress Debbie Allen, Edward Brooke (the first African-American elected to the U.S. Senate), the Premier of Bermuda Ewart Brown and Roland Burris, United States Senator, State of Illinois. Other notable graduates include actor Ossie Davis, David Dinkins (first African-American Mayor of New York City), Mike Espy (first African-American U.S. Secretary of Agriculture) and Adrian Fenty (Mayor of the District of Columbia). The 1990s R&B group Shai was formed on the campus of Howard University.

Prominent faculty

Name Department Notability Reference
Cathy Hughes Media entrepreneur
Ernest Everett Just Zoology Marine biologist
Ron Walters Political Science Political consultant
Charles Drew Discoverer of blood plasma
Francis Cress Welsing School of Medicine Controversial psychiatrist
Charles Hamilton Houston School of Law Civil rights lawyer


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved March 15, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Howard Facts 2009 (PDF)". Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  3. ^ "Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund". 
  4. ^ "Budget Sheet.". 
  5. ^ "Britannica on Oliver O. Howard.". 
  6. ^ "Civil Rights Timeline.". 
  7. ^ "Brief History of Howard University". Retrieved 2009-10-19. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Department of Education funding of Howard University". 
  9. ^ "Biography of Alan Locke.". 
  10. ^ "Biography of Ralph Johnson Bunche.". 
  11. ^ "Biography of Kwame Ture.". 
  12. ^ "Biography of Rayford Logan.". 
  13. ^ "Information on Edward Franklin Frazier.". 
  14. ^ "Career of Thurgood Marshall.". 
  15. ^ "Woodson at the Library of Congress". 
  16. ^ "University of Texas speeches archieve". 
  17. ^ Stanley, Alessandra; Jacob V. Lamar (March 20, 1989). "Saying No to Lee Atwater". (Time Warner).,9171,957283,00.html. 
  18. ^ "Ouster Sought of Howard President". Washington Post. March 10, 2007. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  19. ^ "Howard University". Washington Post. May 21, 2007. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  20. ^ Strauss, Valerie (May 8, 2008). "Bowling Green President Named to Top Position". Washington Post. Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  21. ^ Birnbaum, Michael (2009-09-10). "Response to Protest Leaves Student Leaders Unsatisified". Washington Post. 
  22. ^ Clifford L. Muse, Jr. (1991). "Howard University and The Federal Government During The Presidential Administrations of Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1928-1945". The Journal of Negro History (Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, Inc.) 76 (1/4): 1–20. 
  23. ^ "Facts" (PDF). p. 170. 
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Howard History". 
  27. ^ "Howard University 2009 Performance Plan". US Dept. of Education. Feb. 14, 2008. Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  28. ^ a b "College Search - Howard University". College Board. Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  29. ^ Wesley, Charles H. (1981). The History of Alpha Phi Alpha, A Development in College Life (14th ed.). Chicago, IL: Foundation. p. 43. ASIN: B000ESQ14W. 
  30. ^ "Campus Tours". 

External links

Coordinates: 38°55′18″N 77°01′12″W / 38.92167°N 77.02°W / 38.92167; -77.02

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