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URI AAF 150 - HBCU Essay

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HBCU: Hutson-Tillotson University Before the Civil War, black people had no access to higher education. Newly freed slaves were denied admission to white institutions and had to turn to teaching themselves what they could. After the Civil War between 1861 and 1865, historically black colleges and universities emerged with the intentions to offer accredited, high-quality education to all African American students across the United States. This became successful after the second Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1890 was passed, which stated that African Americans were to be included in the United States Land-Grant University Higher Education System without any discrimination. Today there are more than 100 HBCUs across the United States that has helped contribute to the success and advancement of African Americans. A specific HBCU that I came to learn more about was Huston-Tillotson University. It was founded in 1875 in Austin, Texas by Reverend George Jeffery Tillotson. Tillotson was a Congregational minister from Connecticut who traveled Southwest in search of land to begin a school for African Americans. The private institution was among the earliest all-black colleges to be established in the state and was chartered in 1877 as Tillotson Collegiate and Normal Institute by the American Missionary Association. It is also a church related institution affiliated with The United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ. The school offered elementary, secondary, and college education to black residents in the city when it was officially opened in 1881. Over the years, Tillotson College underwent different stages to get to where it is today. The school was first renamed Tillotson College, a “normal school” for the training of teachers for the black community in 1909. Later in 1925, the school was reorganized as a junior college,and the following year as a women’s college, then again in 1931 as a senior co-educational institution. In 1878, Samuel Hutson a wealthy landowner from Marengo, Iowa had established a co-educational school for African Americans in the Austin, Texas as well. This institute was known as Samuel Huston College. Just like Tillotson College, Huston had to undergo various stages throughout its development. In 1910 the school was chartered as a private educational corporation, then approved as a senior college in 1926, and finally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1934. With both school’s location only being less than one mile apart, they encouraged participation and competition in athletic programs, student activities, and relationships amongst one another. Eventually, in 1952 the colleges emerged into one institution in order to expand and increase their resources becoming Huston-Tillotson College and in 2005, Huston-Tillotson University. Hence their powerful motto, “In Union, Strength.” The University of Rhode Island was founded in 1892 in South Kingstown, RI. It is a public institution that started off as a school for agriculture. It’s founding influence was the Hatch Act of 1887 which offered five thousand dollars annually to each state for agricultural research. This is why the Oliver Watson Farm was purchased, as the site for the Agricultural Experiment Station and State Agricultural School. In 1890 the school opened to students under the principalship of Dr. John H. Washburn. URI’s well-known motto is “Think Big. We Do.” Differences between the two Universities would be that URI does not have an affiliation with religion like Huston-Tillotson does (United Methodist Church). However, today URI Chaplains Association is a body of religious professionals who work together to promote dialogue, understanding and respecting those of different faiths and beliefs. Hutson-Tillotsonwas also a private college unlike URI which is public. When comparing both Universities, they both offer classical courses to their students. Today both Universities have great strengths and achievements that have been made to be the successful schools they are now. Hutson-Tillotson University has many academic courses available to students such as humanities, behavioral sciences, and mathematics. They had a 14% increase from 2010-2014 in African American students completing their bachelor’s degrees and a 175% increase in the number of students completing STEM bachelor’s degrees within the same time frame. Taking a look at URI, its greatest course strengths would be marine biology, nursing, pharmacy, and engineering. Their investments in capital projects and improvements over the last 12 years have included the construction of 6 new facilities and 90% of recent URI graduates are employed or pursuing graduate studies. Overtime, both universities have expanded and become victorious in educating its students. HBCU Huston-Tillotson founding influence was to provide higher education to all while maintaining a focus on educating black Americans and to address the segregated education system which didn’t allow black students to attend publicly funded schools. During the time of the civil rights movement, HTU was a member of the United Negro College Fund which provides scholarships and services to address funding inequities in educational resources for African Americans and increase the total number of college graduates. These Universities have accomplished and inspired students to continue to strive for higher education. With both also having their share on notable graduates who have made a difference in today’s society and future.References Alabam A&M University. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2020, from https://www.aamu.edu/about/our-history/morril-act-1890.html Community Easter Egg Hunt. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2020, from https://htu.edu/ Detailed History. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2020, from https://www.uri.edu/about/history/detailed-history/ History. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2020, from https://www.uri.edu/about/history/ Independent Lens. (2019, January 31). Retrieved October 26, 2020, from https://www.pbs.org/video/tell-them-we-are-rising-the-story-of-black-colleges-and-uni- cheqjr/ Robinson, E. (2020, January 06). Huston-Tillotson University (1881- ). Retrieved October 26, 2020, from


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