Little Bits of History

Raleigh Institute

Posted in History by patriciahysell on December 1, 2015
Estey Hall

Estey Hall

December 1, 1865: The Raleigh Institute is founded. HBCUs are historically black colleges and universities founded in the US with the additional caveat stating established before 1964. They have always admitted all races, but their makeup has been predominately African-Americans. There are 106 HBCUs in the US which include both public and private institutions. They range from two year community colleges to four year institutions as well as law schools and medical schools. Most were established after the US Civil War, but the oldest was established in 1837. Cheyney University of Pennsylvania was the first such school. Raleigh Institute was the first HBCU to be established in the South.

Today, known as Shaw University, it was founded on this day by the American Baptist Home Mission Society. Henry Martin Tupper, born in Massachusetts in 1811, was a Baptist minister who came South immediately after the end of the Civil War. His first act upon arriving in Raleigh, North Carolina was to form the Second Baptist Church of Raleigh (which changed its name in 1910 to the Tabernacle Baptist Church and then again changed the name to Tupper Memorial Baptist Church). Tupper and his Bible study students built a church/school which consisted of one two-story building. The ground floor was the church and the upper floor was the Raleigh Institute where Tupper took it upon himself to educated freedmen.

By 1867, the school had grown and had three buildings, two of which were cabins. In 1875, the name changed from Shaw Collegiate Institute and to Shaw University and there were only two major structures in which to educate students. One was the  Shaw Building and the other was Estey Seminary. The Shaw Building was erected in a field where Tupper had once hid when a lynch mob came for him. The Shaw Building was the largest school building in all of North Carolina and had four stories and 165 feet of frontage. Not only did the school accept freedmen, but accepted African-American females which was also an astounding feat. The school continued to grown and both the law school (1888) and medical school (1881) were established before Tupper’s death in 1893.

Today, Shaw University remains affiliated with the National Baptist Convention. They have a $23 million endowment and Joeseph Bell is chairman and Tashni-Ann Dubroy is president. They have just under 2,000 students serviced by 173 academic staff members. They offer undergraduate degrees in a number of areas in both the sciences and humanities. They also have graduate programs in Diviinity, Religious Education, and Early Childhood Instruction. The law school closed in 1914 after graduating 54 students. The med school closed in 1918. Estey Hall and Leonard Hall are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Shaw was active in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Some famous people are alumni and include Gladys Knight and Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom. – George Washington Carver

My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors. – Maya Angelou

Also on this day: Not a Hot Line – In 1878, a telephone was first installed in the White House.
Beauty, Wit, Charm – In 1919, Lady Astor became the first woman in the British House of Commons.
No President Elect – In 1824, there was no clear candidate for President elected.
Underground – In 1913, the Buenos Aires Metro opened.
Author, Author – In 1886, Rex Stout was born.

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