Student Historian

Vanessa LeAnne Patterson is an undergraduate history student at the University of Washington. She has always had an interest in history and writing. She hopes to graduate from the University of Washington in June of 2010 with a B.A. in history. From there, she plans to pursue a career in journalism.


South Carolina State University (1896- )

South Carolina State University (SCSU) was founded in 1896 by an act of the South Carolina General Assembly and remains the state’s sole public college for African American youth. It was established in Orangeburg, South Carolina as a land grant institution that focused mainly on … Read MoreSouth Carolina State University (1896- )

Claflin University (1869- )

Claflin University, located in Orangeburg, South Carolina, was founded in 1869 by Alonzo Webster (1818-1887), a Vermont minister.  Webster came to South Carolina to teach at the Baker Bible Institute in Charleston training African American ministers for the Methodist Episcopal Church (today the United Methodist … Read MoreClaflin University (1869- )

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (1837- )

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, located near Cheyney, Pennsylvania, was founded on February 25, 1837, making it the oldest predominantly African American institution of higher education in the United States. It was originally known as the African Institute was renamed the Institute of Colored Youth in … Read MoreCheyney University of Pennsylvania (1837- )

Saint Paul’s College of Virginia (1888- )

Saint Paul’s College of Virginia is a private college located in Lawrenceville, Virginia.  The college was founded on September 24, 1888, by James Solomon Russell, a newly-ordained deacon in the Protestant Episcopal Church. He became the first principal of the institution, which in 1890 was … Read MoreSaint Paul’s College of Virginia (1888- )

University of Arkansas Pine Bluff (1873- )

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff was created by the Arkansas Legislative Act of 1873. The University was established for the “convenience and well-being of the poorer classes” which meant African Americans in the state. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is the … Read MoreUniversity of Arkansas Pine Bluff (1873- )

University of District of Columbia (1851- )

The University of District of Columbia was founded as a school for African American girls in 1851. The school was established by Myrtilla Miner and was initially called the Miner Normal School. In 1879 it became part of the District of Columbia public school system. … Read MoreUniversity of District of Columbia (1851- )