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Thu, 08.29.1867

Saint Augustine’s University founded

*The founding of Saint Augustine's University in 1867 is celebrated on this date.  They are a private American HBCU in Raleigh, North Carolina.

It was founded by Episcopal clergy for the education of freed African slaves.   Originally Saint Augustine's Normal School, the name changed to Saint Augustine's School in 1893.   It became Saint Augustine's Junior College in 1919, when it began offering college-level coursework.  It began offering coursework leading to a four-year degree in 1927 and changed its name to Saint Augustine's College one year later with the first baccalaureate degrees awarded in 1931.  

Rev. and Mrs. A.B. Hunter founded St. Agnes Hospital in 1895. I.L. Collins gave $600 of the $1,100 raised to start the hospital, which was named for Collins' late wife Agnes. The hospital opened in the residence of Robert B. Sutton, the school's third principal. By 1904, despite improvements, St. Agnes needed to expand, and Mrs. Hunter raised half the $15,000 needed.  Under the direction of Bishop Henry Beard Delany, it became a 75-bed center “built of stone quarried on the St. Augustine's campus" that opened in 1909. For many years St. Agnes was "the only well-equipped hospital ... with one exception" for African Americans between New Orleans and Washington D.C. and served 75,000 African American people in the three states.  

The building was severely damaged by fire in December 1926. One of its most famous patients was Boxer Jack Johnson, who was taken there following a fatal 1946 auto accident near Franklinton, NC.  Part of the building still remains, and is regarded as a historic property, but the hospital has not operated since 1961.  In 2012, the institution again expanded its focus and changed its name to St. Augustine's University.   

In April 2014, in the midst of financial problems stemming from a loss in enrollment and revenue, the university's board of trustees appointed Dr. Everett Ward as President in 2015 after serving as interim President since 2014.  Gaddis Faulcon was named interim president in 2019.   

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String-chewing bass players, Plucking rolled balls of sound From the jazz scented night Feeding hungry beat seekers Finger shaped heartbeats, Driving ivory nails Into their greedy eyes. Smoke crystals, from the nostrils Of released jazz demons, Crash from... MINGUS by Bob Kaufman.
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