Coverage of historically black colleges and universities found on the AJC’s Sepia Facebook page

Here is a guide and introduction to America’s historically black colleges and universities from the AJC’s Sepia Facebook page. Learn about the history, traditions and notable alumni in Atlanta and the Southeast, and from the Virgin Islands to Washington DC tand beyond. The guide also includes black Greek fraternity and sorority organizations.

Find by school


Albany State: Founded in 1903 as the Albany Bible and Manual Training Institute.

Paine College: Founded in 1882 as Paine Institute.

Spelman College: Founded in 1881, based in Atlanta. Also once called Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary.


University of Arkansas Pine Bluff: Founded in 1873 as Branch Normal College.


Howard University: Founded in 1867 by Civil War hero General Oliver Otis Howard, the commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau.


Florida Memorial University: Founded in 1879 as Florida Baptist Institute.

  • First Person: Guided by principle
  • Florida Memorial University’s Barrington Irving, Pilot
  • HBCU of the Week: Florida Memorial University


Kentucky State University: Founded in 1886 as the State Normal School for Colored Persons.

Simmons College of Kentucky: Founded in 1879 as the Kentucky Normal and Theological Institute.


Dillard University: The history of Dillard University dates back to 1869 and its founding predecessor institutions - Straight University and Union Normal School. It was chartered as Dillard in 1930.

Xavier University of Louisiana: Founded in 1915, Xavier is the only HBCU affiliated with the Roman Catholic church.


University of Maryland, Eastern Shore: Founded in 1886 as the Delaware Conference Academy.


Alcorn State University: Founded in 1871 as the first black land grant college established in the United States.

Mississippi Valley State University: Founded in 1950 as the Mississippi Vocational College to train teachers for rural and elementary schools and to provide vocational training.

Rust College: Founded in 1866 as Shaw University. It changed its name to Rust College in 1882 to avoid confusion.


Harris-Stowe State University: Founded in 1857. The roots of the school date back to two St. Louis colleges, Harris Teachers College and Stowe Teachers College.

Lincoln University of Missouri: Founded in 1866 by black Civil War veterans, the college in the country to hold that distinction.


North Carolina Central University: Founded in 1910 by James E. Shepard as the National Religious Training School and Chautauqua.

Winston Salem State University: Founded in 1892 as Slater Industrial Academy in one room with 25 students.


Cheyney University of Pennsylvania: Founded in 1837, the school is considered the oldest black institution of higher education in the country. It was started as the African Institute.


Benedict College: Founded in 1870 as the Benedict Institute.

Claflin University: Founded in 1869 by northern missionaries for the education of freedmen and their children.


Huston-Tillotson University: Founded in 1881, the current school is the result of a merger between Tillotson College and Samuel Huston College.

Wiley College: Founded in 1873 the school is one of the oldest predominantly black colleges west of the Mississippi.


University of the Virgin Islands: Founded in 1962. Based on the definition of an HBCU - schools established before 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African American community - UVI is the "youngest," HBCU.


Hampton University: Founded in 1868 as Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. In 1930, the school began a 50-year run as Hampton Institute.


Bluefield State University: Founded in 1895 as Bluefield Colored Institute. Today, it has the highest percentage of white students than any other HBCU.

West Virginia State University: Founded in 1891 as West Virginia Colored Institute, one of the original black land-grant schools.

Find by Greek fraternity

Alpha Phi Alpha: Founded in 1906 at Cornell University, it is the first of all Greek Letter organizations

Omega Psi Phi: Founded in 1911 at Howard University, it is the largest black fraternity.

Phi Beta Sigma: Founded in 1914 at Howard University by three students.

Iota Phi Theta: Founded in 1963 at Morgan State, it is the youngest of the "Divine Nine."

Find by Greek sorority

Alpha Kappa Alpha: Founded in 1908 at Howard University, it is the first black Greek letter sorority.

Delta Sigma Theta: Founded in 1913 at Howard University, it is the largest Greek letter sorority.

Zeta Phi Beta: Founded in 1920 at Howard University the sorority that is constitutionally bound to Phi Beta Sigma.

Sigma Gamma Rho: Founded in 1922 is the only black sorority founded on a white campus, Butler University.

In Other News