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This date celebrates the founding of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. It is among over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in America.
Meharry Medical College was founded in 1876 as the Medical Department of Central Tennessee College of Nashville under the auspices of the Freedman's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1900, Central Tennessee College became Walden University, and by 1915, the college gained a separate corporate existence from the university.
Meharry's inception was part of the Freedman Aid Society's continuing effort to educate freed slaves and to provide health care services for the poor and under-served. The first individual contributors to the school were the five Meharry brothers, led by Samuel Meharry. Since 1915, it has remained independent, receiving its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Over the years, Meharry has expanded in-depth and diversity.
The college includes the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Graduate Studies and Research, and Allied Health Professions. Meharry houses the Lloyd C. Elam Community Mental Health Center and the nation's first institute on Health Care for the Poor and Under-served. Today, Meharry Medical College is the largest private, historically Black institution exclusively dedicated to educating health care professionals and biomedical scientists in the United States. Meharry has graduated nearly 15 percent of all Black physicians and dentists practicing in the United States.
Since 1970, Meharry has been awarded more than 10 percent of the Ph. D.s in biomedical sciences received by African Americans. As Meharry takes its place among the leading institutions preparing health professionals to meet the challenges of the 21st century, the college remains true to its heritage of serving the underserved of all origins while maintaining an uncompromising standard of excellence. Some notable alumni include Georgia Patton, Dorothy L. Brown, and Horace Rains.