Profile America: Howard University

Profile America — One of the most renowned of America’s historically black colleges was founded on this date in 1866 as the Howard Theological Seminary. Named after Civil War general and post-war Freedmen’s Bureau Director Oliver O. Howard, the seminary changed its name to Howard University just two months after its founding. While not the first college to admit black students, nor the first to be established for blacks, Howard was the first to offer full undergraduate, graduate and professional training to blacks. When Howard opened its campus, college degrees were rare over all and practically unknown among blacks. Today, among the black population over the age of 25, almost 20 percent have bachelor’s degrees or higher.

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