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Lisa Clayton Robinson

Fisk University, like many new schools established for African Americans after the Civil War ended in 1865, was founded and largely supported by white benefactors. But it differed significantly from other black schools, such as Tuskegee and Hampton, in its emphasis on liberal arts education rather than vocational training. Its founders saw Fisk as a school that would measure itself by “the highest standards, not of Negro education, but of American education at its best.”

Fisk was established in Nashville, Tennessee, in October 1865 by Erastus Milo Cravath and Edward P. Smith, both members of the American Missionary Association, and John Ogden, superintendent of the Tennessee Freedmen's Bureau's Department of Education. Fisk began as an elementary school to meet the basic educational needs of the newly freed slaves, and its first students ranged in age from seven to seventy. In 1867 Tennessee passed a law requiring ...

Article

Dale Edwyna Smith

Lincoln University (Missouri) was created to meet freed blacks’ hunger for higher education after the Civil War. Black Union soldiers of the sixty-second and sixty-fifth U.S. Colored Infantry founded Lincoln Institute in Jefferson City, Missouri, in September 1866. The institution faced a succession of obstacles, including race discrimination, financial insecurity, debate over strategies for educating the black masses and, ironically, the end of legal segregation.

Inman E. Page attended Brown University and served as a clerk with the Freedmen's Bureau but recruited to be the first black administrator to hold the title “president” at Lincoln, Page was required to act as vice principal for one year to prove he was up to the task. Born a slave in Virginia, Page served as president of Lincoln from 1880 to 1889, and from 1922 to 1923 His job required rigorous fund raising and he often called on the Lincoln ...

Article

When founded by the Presbyterian minister John Miller Dickey and his Quaker wife, Sarah Emlen Cresson, in 1854, this rural, southeastern Pennsylvania educational venture was called the Ashmun Institute. After the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, the school took the name Lincoln University. Lincoln is the oldest of the historically black colleges and universities in the United States. The founding president Dickey remained only until 1856. Among the longest-tenured of the presidents who followed him were Isaac Norton Rendall, 1865–1906; John Ballard Rendall, 1906–1924; Walter Livingston Wright, 1924–1926 and 1936–1945; Horace Mann Bond (who also graduated from Lincoln in 1923), 1945–1957; and Herman Russell Branson, 1970–1985. Ivory V. Nelson became president in 1999.

There were six young men in Lincoln's first graduating class in 1868; by 1900 there were thirty two ...