Funding Higher Education

Are there single-purpose schools founded for African-American males?

Lincoln University in Pennsylvania (1854) and Morehouse College in Atlanta (1867)—both liberal arts institutions—were founded to educate black male students. Lincoln was strictly a privately supported institution until 1972, when it began a formal association with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is now a state-related, coeducational institution. Since its charter had prevented female matriculation toward a degree, women were not graduated until 1953. In 1945 educator Horace Mann Bond (1904–1972) became the school’s fifth president and its first African-American president; he served until 1957. From 1987 through 1998, Lincoln had its first woman president, Niara Sudarkasa (1938–).

Morehouse College has among its notable and long list of distinguished black graduates Martin Luther King Jr. The school began as Augusta Institute under the auspices of the Baptist Home Missionary Society. Its first African-American president was John Hope (1868–1936), who took office in 1913. In 1940 the school’s renowned leader Benjamin Elijah Mays (1894–1984) became president and held that office until 1967. He is credited with promoting the college’s philosophy termed “Morehouse Mystique,” which is a spiritual and intellectual approach to leadership, brotherhood, and service reflecting much of Mays’s own life and values.


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