Founded on this day in 1837, Cheyney University Celebrates Its Legacy as the Nation’s Oldest HBCU


Cheyney University of Pennsylvania in Cheyney, Pa., Thursday, May 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
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Cheyney University, originally known as the African Institute, was established on April 19, 1837. Billing itself as the oldest African-American institution of higher learning in the nation, its founding was enabled by Richard Humphreys, a Quaker philanthropist who generously donated $10,000 — a tenth of his estate — to establish a school for individuals of African descent.

Bayard Rustin, leader of the “March on Washington,” poses in front of the National Headquarters at 170 West 130th St., in New York, August 1, 1963. (AP Photo/Eddie Adams)

Offering degrees in over 30 disciplines and a master’s degree in education, the university boasts an impressive roster of alumni, including Ed Bradley, the late 60 Minutes television journalist, and civil rights leader Bayard Rustin.

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