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HBCUs 67, talks about

HBCUs 67, talks about why HBCUs were created. The second, fittingly titled, “Education for All: How Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Virginia continue to make quality education an attainable dream for all students”, 68 the present-day value of these schools is described as follows: “HBCUs are very relevant, as we would have very few black teachers, doctors, pharmacists, scientists, etc. without them,” according to Dr. Marybeth Gasman, director of the Penn Center for Minority-Serving Institutions at the University of Pennsylvania and a leading authority on historically black colleges. “Given their resources, research shows that they are more successful with low-income, students of color. They have equal gains but use fewer resources.” “While challenging, this determination to do more with less is a testament to the commitment these schools have to their students. And while HBCUs are “historically black,” they are open to all and serve a number of students from across the country and the world.” Virginia Union University Founded in 1865 69 Hampton University Founded in 1868 72 Virginia State University Founded in 1882 70 Virginia University of Lynchburg Founded in 1886 71 Norfolk State University Founded in 1935 73 THE TIGER & THE TORCH Page | 54

AN HBCU IN CHRISTIANSBURG, VA? Christiansburg Institute (CI) had humble beginnings similar to those at both Hampton University 74 in Virginia and Tuskegee University 75 in Alabama. Some of the same people were involved during the same time and doing some of the same things. Given the shared history and connections and CI’s dual accreditation status for college courses, it too had the potential to become one of Virginia’s HBCUs. In the 1990s, a local newspaper ran an article about CI’s potential with the following headline, “Institute accredited first in New River.” This supports the concept and starts out saying, “Which school in Montgomery County was the first to gain national prominence? Virginia Tech? No. It was a small, one-room wood frame school in Christiansburg with 12 black students which opened its doors six years before Tech, then known as the Virginia, Agricultural and Mechanical College, began operation in 1872. From this small school grew the Christiansburg Institute which ranked with the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama and the Hampton Institute, as the best black schools in the South around 1900, according to Radford University Librarian Ann Swain. Swain, who has spent several years researching the school’s history, said the school educated blacks for 100 years—from 1866 to 1966— a record unmatched by any similar elementary or secondary school.” 76 Indeed the school was unlike any other in the immediate area. We can only speculate about what could have become of Christiansburg Institute. People had to move on and they did; however, the history remains, the legacy remains and some buildings remain. ROAR! “WHERE AT H AMPTON THE PEOPLE HAVE GONE TO SCHOOL; AT CHRISTIANSBURG THE SCHOOL HAS GONE TO THE PEOPLE.” 77 EDGAR A. LONG THE TIGER & THE TORCH Page | 55

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