On April 18th, 1868 the historically black university named Hampton University was founded. The university was founded by the leaders of the American Missionary Association after the Civil War. The university is located near the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton, Virginia. The purpose of founding and starting the school was to provide free education to black students. The school started providing education to Native Americans who wanted to attend as well in 1868.
Before it was Hampton University, it got its start as Hampton Agricultural and Industrial School. It was then known as Hampton Institute. In 1984, the school changed its name from Hampton Institute to Hampton University. The university’s early curriculum was said to focus on training its students on how to become community leaders, teachers and skilled artisans. Hampton University also maintained its agricultural and vocational education as well. In 1922, Hampton began to raise its admissions standards. A Bachelor’s of Arts degree program was also implemented. In 1926, the university handed out its first Bachelor’s degrees. In 1928, Hampton also started a graduate degree program. Slowly but surely, Hampton was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges in 1932. Other colleges and universities of the south were influenced by Hampton University’s educational model and progress.
Some of the most well-known graduates of Hampton University from its early history include: Booker T. Washington, Alberta Williams King (mother of Martin Luther King Jr.), and Harlem Renaissance artist George R. Lewis. Booker T. Washington, after graduating from Hampton took its education model and started the Tuskegee Institute in central Alabama in 1881.
Hampton University is still a prestigious university that provides quality education. Hampton University now offers over fifty degree programs. Hampton University has over five thousand graduate and undergraduate students in its program today.
Original Article Found On BET.com — http://www.bet.com/news/national/2013/04/18/this-day-in-black-history-april-18-1868.html