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Wed, 04.01.1868

Hampton University is Founded

Hampton University was founded on this date in 1868. It is one of 100 Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in America.

Hampton University is a privately endowed, co-educational school located in southeastern Virginia. General Samuel Chapman Armstrong founded the University as Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute. It was designed to educate the newly emancipated Blacks and has grown into a comprehensive university offering a broad range of technical, liberal arts, pre-professional, professional, and graduate degree programs. In its beginning, Hampton was neither a government nor a state school.

It was chartered by a special act of the General Assembly of Virginia and was controlled by a board representing both different regions of the country and various religious groups. The school's most famous graduate was Booker T. Washington. Hampton was unique in that it opened its doors to Native Americans too.  Beginning in 1878, Native American students were brought to the school from Northern Plains tribes to be “re-educated.”

Armstrong, whose missionary parents had raised in Hawaii, promoted a curriculum that was highly colonialist in its tenor and promoted the most rapid assimilation possible.  He, along with M F, Helen W. Ludlow, and Elaine G. Eastman, wrote a report on their findings. In this period, the rhetoric used to describe the Native Americans was very disrespectful, representing the negative perspective that the white Americans' ideology had on Native Americans.

For over 130 years, Hampton University has held to its mission: educating African Americans to be scholars and leaders, nationally and internationally. Hampton University is consistently placed among the elite in national polls and rankings, including those for U.S. News and World Report, Black Enterprise, Black Issues in Higher Education, and other publications.



Black American Colleges and Universities:
Profiles of Two-Year, Four-Year, & Professional Schools
by Levin Hill, Pub., Gale Group, 1994
ISBN: 0-02-864984-2

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