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President's Blog: Cheyney University – 175 Years of Access, Opportunity, and Excellence (1380 hits)

This year we celebrate the 175th anniversary of the beginning of higher learning for African descendants in America––Cheyney University. This anniversary also symbolizes the courage, persistence, perseverance of historically black colleges and universities in spite of staggering odds, and their enduring faith in the power of education to improve the futures of generations of citizens spanning three centuries––19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. As the first such institution in America, the story of Cheyney University begins with Quaker Richard Humphreys, and chronicles a long and arduous journey that reflects aspects of American history and American s/heroes by whose sheer force of will we have moved forward as Americans.

We only wish we were able to tell the full stories of the connected lives and works of all the diverse s/heroes who have served to enrich America by broadening its intellectual capital. The most important aspect of the legacy of Cheyney University is that it is a story about people and the value they have brought to the Commonwealth and the nation. These visionaries and beacons of hope have included the faculty, the advisors, the mentors, the alumni, the administrators, the supporters, stakeholders, and the hundreds of families who converged at institutions called The African Institute, the Institute For Colored Youth, Cheyney State Teacher's College, Cheyney State College, and finally, Cheyney University with hopes for a better tomorrow.

There are many facts that are less known about the value of Cheyney University, such as the fact that Cheyney University has a very high percentage of students who have gone on to complete doctorate degrees. There are graduates of Cheyney University who are surgeons, physicians, attorneys, scientists, entrepreneurs, political analysts, teachers, and responsible and contributing citizens in a host of jobs that are too numerous to mention. All of these graduates bring the experience of a Cheyney University education back to their families and communities and demonstrate the range of possibilities available for other youth.

We hope that this 175th Anniversary will bring credit to some of the s/heroes who have created the legacy of Cheyney University. We also hope that stakeholders will invest in the next generation of leaders by helping us raise merit scholarships for talented and deserving students.

It is important for us as Americans to ensure that creativity and genius will continue to emerge in all segments of America. Thus, we invite all to join us at our 175th Anniversary Gala on October 18th in the Pennsylvania Convention Center to raise merit scholarship dollars, so that the University can better produce more young intellectual capital and continue its legacy of access, excellence, and opportunity!

Michelle Howard-Vital, Ph.D.

Posted By: Elynor Moss
Tuesday, September 25th 2012 at 4:44PM
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