Think you know HBCUs? Think Again: 5 Things About HBCUs You Probably Never Knew

Of all the colleges and universities in the country, HBCUs are some of the most popular from television to movies, and yet some of the most misunderstood. Read further to learn 5 interesting things you didn’t know about HBCUs.

1. You may have seen the acronym before, and politely wondered ‘what exactly does HBCU mean?’ HBCU stands for ‘Historically Black Colleges and Universities’. Currently, there are 104 HBCUs still transforming, educating and graduating students throughout the country. These institutions, primarily concentrated in the South, are known as cultural hubs where trends are made, legacies are preserved, and minds are inspired by outstanding educators.

2. The vast majority of HBCUs were established after the Civil War, with a few established in Pennsylvania and Ohio in the 1850s. Cheyney University (1837), Lincoln University (1854), Wilberforce University (1856) were the first HBCUs founded for freed men to receive higher education instruction. In 1862, the Morrill Act provided funds and land for the creation of land grant colleges whose academic concentrations would focus on agriculture, science, military science and engineering. Other colleges were established after the Civil War, through the work of the Freedman’s Bureau in the 1860s. The highest concentration of these schools was in the South, whose college system was segregated at the time.

3. The common misconception is that HBCUs are only for African American students, or students of color. That’s simply not true, and it never has been. Hampton University, founded in 1867 was long a top producer of Native American graduates. Historically Black Colleges and Universities are just that, historically founded for students of color, but students of all races, nationalities, ethnicities, religions, etc.. The only instance when one can’t attend a specific HBCU is in the case of the all-female (Bennett College and Spelman College) and all-male (Morehouse College) colleges.

4. Many prominent and notable Americans are products of HBCUs, in nearly every field of human endeavor. From politicians to writers, and athletes to intellectuals, HBCU alumni are as vast and diverse as their student bodies who boast populations with students from nearly every state in the union. Martin Luther King, Jr., Michael Strahan, Toni Morrison, Sean Combs, Tom Joyner, Walter Payton, Thurgood Marshall, Stephen A. Smith, Lionel Richie, Langston Hughes, Jerry Rice, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Taraji P. Henson, Herman Cain, Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson and Oprah Winfrey are just a few notable HBCU alums.

5. TWG Plus is proud to have partnered with several HBCUs to increase their exposure and enhance their marketing and publications. Our work with HBCUs such as Concordia College, Morgan State University, Clark Atlanta University Morehouse College, Spelman College, Mississippi Valley State and Talladega College has been innovative, award winning, ground breaking and most importantly, it’s helped each of these institutions meet and exceed their admissions goals.

As a proud third generation HBCU alum and a proud Morehouse Man, I welcome the opportunity to work with other HBCUs in my capacity here at TWG Plus as the Director of HBCU Marketing, to create innovative pathways to effectively communicate their message to their target audience. We offer student search, recruitment publications, marketing strategy tactics, brand positioning, qualitative and quantitative research, website and graphic design, advertising, social media marketing and direct and email search marketing. We can help you exceed your goal. For more information, please contact me at joe.carlos@twgplus.com. Let’s get to work.

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