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*On this date in 1849, the Allegheny Institute was chartered. Along with the institute, he included Mission Church, north of Pittsburgh.
Charles Avery funded this school to offer elementary and advanced education to qualified Black students without regard to sex. The racial and coeducational features of the program were controversial, and the school's connection to Pittsburgh's A.M.E. Zion Church assured a strong religious influence in the officially nonsectarian institute. (Religious affiliation was not considered in admission decisions, but instructors were expected to be professing Christians.). A three-story brick structure was erected according to Avery's specifications, with the top floor reserved for Christian education.
Legend has it the basement was used as a station on the Underground Railroad. The same year Charles Avery died (1858), the Allegheny Institute became Avery College, with the intention of offering a liberal arts education "in the various branches of science, literature, and ancient and modern languages."