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On this date in 1869, Dillard University was founded. Dillard is one of over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in America.
The Dillard story begins with the American Missionary Association of the Congregational Church. It founded Straight University, and the Freedman's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church established Union Normal School. Straight University and Union Normal School were then renamed Straight College and New Orleans University, in that order. Initially, both institutions offered instruction on the elementary level, soon expanding to include the secondary, collegiate, and professional levels. Gilbert Academy, a secondary school, was a unit of New Orleans University. Straight operated a law department from 1874 to 1886.
In 1889, New Orleans University opened a Medical Department, including a school of pharmacy and a school of nursing. The Medical Department was named Flint Medical College and the affiliated hospital was named the Sarah Goodridge Hospital and Nurse Training School. The medical college was discontinued in 1911, but the hospital, including the nursing school, was continued under the name of Flint-Goodridge Hospital.
On June 6, 1930, New Orleans University and Straight College merged to form Dillard University, which elected to follow the practices of the two-parent institutions in making no distinction as to race, religion, or sex in the admission of students or in the selection of faculty. The trustees of Dillard elected to continue as a part of the University the work of the hospital but not that of Gilbert Academy. The latter continued operation as a separate institution under the sponsorship of the Board of Education of the Methodist Church until 1949. The University operated Flint-Goodridge Hospital of Dillard University from 1932 until 1983.
In September 1935, on a new site with a new physical plant, Dillard University began instruction. The University was named in honor of James Hardy Dillard, whose distinguished service in the education of African Americans in the South forms an important chapter in the history of American education.
Black American Colleges and Universities:
Profiles of Two-Year, Four-Year, & Professional Schools
By Levirn Hill, Pub., Gale Group, 1994