|Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have a distinguished past and an important future in providing higher education for Americans throughout our country.
America's HBCUs have a proud and storied tradition. Since their inception, HBCUs have furthered the development of African Americans who have become leaders in government, business, education, science, the military, law, and many other fields. Graduates of HBCUs have made great contributions to our society and continue to serve as role models for all Americans.
Famous HBCU Alumni
In medicine, there are the former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, a graduate of Morehouse College, and Dr. LaSalle D. Laffall, Jr., the first black president of the American Cancer Society and a graduate of Florida A&M University and the Howard University College of Medicine.
In education, there is educator extraordinaire Marva Collins, a graduate of Clark Atlanta University, and Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons, a graduate of Dillard University.
In business, there is Black Enterprise publisher Earl G. Graves, a graduate of Morgan State University and Reginald Lewis, late CEO of TLC/ Beatrice and graduate of Virginia State.
In television, Oprah Winfrey, a graduate of Tennessee State University, has revolutionized daytime talk shows, comedienne Wanda Sykes, a Hampton University graduate, makes America laugh out loud weekly in her own television show, Ed Bradley, award winning 60 Minutes correspondent from Cheyney State, and Keenan Ivory Wayans, a graduate of Tuskeegee.
In law, there is former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, a graduate of Lincoln (PA) University and Howard University College of Law; and in science, there's Ronald McNair a graduate of North Carolina A&T.
In sports, there's Althea Gibson from Florida A&M, Walter Payton a graduate of Jackson State, Earl "the Pearl" Monroe from Winston-Salem, Jerry Rice a Mississippi Valley graduate, and Steve McNair from Alcorn State.
In civil rights and politics, there's Martin Luther King Jr. from Morehouse, Kweisi Mfume (Morgan), Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (North Carolina A&T), former U.S. Treasurer in the Carter Administration, Azie Taylor Morton (Huston-Tillotson University), Barbara Jordan, legislator (Texas Southern), and Vernon Jordan, former head of UNCF and Urban League (Howard), Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, the youngest mayor of a major American city and a graduate of Florida A&M University.
In music, there's Branford Marsalis (Southern), Sean P.Diddy Combs, founder and CEO of Bad Boy Entertainment (Howard), Erykah Badu (Grambling), hip hop artist Common (Florida A&M University), Yolanda Adams (Tennessee State) and Reuben Studdard - American Idol winner (Alabama A&M).
In literature, there's Alice Walker (Spelman), Ralph Ellison (Tuskegee), Toni Morrison (Howard), Alex Haley (Alcorn State), poet Nikki Giovanni (Fisk), and Langston Hughes (Lincoln)
Sources: This list was compiled using info from The Hobsons Historically Black Colleges and Universities Guide in association with NAFEO and UNCF.org.
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