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Sat, 12.20.1862

LeMoyne-Owen College is Founded

The founding of LeMoyne-Owen College (LOC) in 1862 is marked on this date. This school, in Memphis, TN. and is one of over 100 Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in America.

LeMoyne-Owen College began before the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Lucinda Humphrey, a hospital nurse at Camp Shiloh, first held candlelight instructions for groups of Blacks to teach them the alphabet. In 1863, the school was moved to Memphis and in 1866 became Lincoln School. Later, Dr. Francis Julian LeMoyne of the American Missionary Association and a prominent physician gave money to the school. For this, it was renamed in his honor as the LeMoyne Normal and Commercial School.

It got its present site in Memphis in 1914 and was chartered by the State of Tennessee as a four-year degree-granting institution in 1934. Another school, Owen College, was founded through the Tennessee Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention and opened in 1954.  It was named in honor of the Reverend S.A. Owen, a prominent religious and civic leader.

In the fall of 1968, the two colleges merged, forming LeMoyne-Owen College (LOC). Its campus is in South Memphis and it has a diverse, multi-ethnic student body from the United States and several foreign countries.

LeMoyne-Owen College is located at 807 Walker Ave. Memphis, TN 38126. Further contact information is at 800-737-7778.  Notable alumni include Marion Barry and Benjamin Hooks.


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

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