The Fallen Soldiers

By. Tiffani Randolph | @hbcupridenation

July 26, 2019 

                HBCU’S should always be remembered!

College is undoubtedly the best years of your life. You feel the pressure of becoming an adult but live life like there is no tomorrow. Throughout the decision process you are trying to find the perfect school for you but what is better than an HBCU? Historically Black Colleges and Universities not only provide superb education to people of color, but they provide space, emotion, and literal body of excellence to encourage goals, dreams, and aspirations with people who look like you. You spend years listening to the HBCU bands that you dream of one day playing in. Your grandfather has old pictures of him and his frat brothers of a fraternity you hope to one day join. If there is so much legacy and love, then why have over 30 HBCUs closed along the years? This question still has no solid answer but with each closed university there is a stronger need to keep the ones we have left, alive.

Avery College

 (1849-1873)

Avery College was located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The school closed in 1873, due to financial problems and was known for providing classic education to negroes.

Payne College

(1879-1912)

This is an image of Warren Bush Hall on the campus.

Payne College located in Cuthbert, Georgia. It merged with Morris Brown University June 5th, 1912, and was a source of education of people of color.

Mount Hermon Female Seminary

(1875-1924)

Mount Hermon Female Seminary was located in Clinton, Mississippi. The American Missionary Association had its own college named Tougaloo University. Therefore, they had no use for Mount Hermon. The brass bell and gravesite are the only remains of the institute.

George R. Smith College

(1984-1925)

George R. Smith College was located in Sedalia, Missouri. It burned down on April 26, 1925, and the assets of the institute were later merged with Philander Smith College.

Roger Williams University

(1864-1929)

Roger Williams University was located in Nashville, Tennessee. Two suspicious fires destroyed the main building in 1905. The school also faced some financial issues and subsequently merged with other institutions and formed LeMoyne-Owen College.

Guadalupe College

(1884-1936)

Guadalupe College was located in Seguin, Texas. The fire destroyed the main building in 1936. It will always be remembered as one of the historical HBCUs.

Western University 

(1865- 1943)

 This image is of Ward and Parks hall on the campus.

Western University was located in Quindaro, Kansas. A fire destroyed Ward Hall in 1924. After this, admissions began to decline. The school finally closed in 1943.

Southern Christian Institute

(1875-1953)

Southern Christian Institute was located in Edwards, Mississippi. The enrollment rate dropped during World War II. It merged with Tougaloo College later in its years. 

Storer College 

(1865- 1955)

Storer College was located in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The school and students were transferred to Virginia Union where its alumni are recognized. The original campus is part of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

Leland University 

(1870-1960)

Leland University was originally located in New Orleans, Louisiana. A hurricane destroyed the original location. It was then relocated to Baker. Louisiana where it closed in 1960, due to financial issues.

THE MAGNIFICENT 12

These institutions were referred to as The Magnificent 12. They were colleges that opened all over Florida due to the 1957 decision to preserve racial segregation. Although, the Supreme Court had just made the decision to mandate school integration through the Brown v. Board of Education case. Florida made it very clear that the “separate but equal” policy still applied.

Carver Junior College

(1960-1963)

Carver Junior College was located in Cocoa, Florida. It closed after the Civil Rights Act was passed and was the first school to close out of the 12 schools.. It merged with Brevard Community College and the current students at the time were able to complete the programs they started.

Collier-Blocker Junior College

(1960-1964)

This image is of newly admitted students.

Collier-Blocker Junior College was located in Palatka, Florida. It was placed under the supervision of St. Johns River Junior College after 12 graduates were the last in 1964. It was known as one of the least successful of the 12 colleges. 

J.P. Campbell College

(1930-1965)

J.P. Campbell College was located in Jackson, Mississippi. It was closed after severe financial issues. There were several students expelled for participating in the Civil Rights Movement.

Roosevelt Junior College

(1958-1965)

Roosevelt Junior College was located in West Palm Beach, Florida. The institution closed after the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed. It gained its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges.

Booker T. Washington Junior College

(1949-1965)

Booker T. Washington Junior College was located in Pensacola, Florida. It closed after the Civil Rights Act was closed in 1964. The institution merged with Pensacola Junior College.

Volusia County Junior College

(1958-1965)

This image is of the storefront where Volusia’s first classes were held.

Volusia County Junior College was located in Daytona Beach, Florida. After it closed, the school merged with Daytona Beach Junior College, which was then an all-white college.

Gibbs Junior College 

(1957-1966)

Gibbs Junior College was located in St. Petersburg, Florida. After it closed, the school merged with St. Petersburg Junior College.

Hampton Junior College

(1958-1966)

Hampton Junior College was located in Ocala, Florida. It had 8 great years of operation with 317 graduates. The institution merged with Central Florida Junior College after its closing.

Rosenwald Junior College

(1958-1966)

Rosenwald Junior College was located in Panama City, Florida. After its closing, Gulf Coast State College launched the Rosenwald Junior College Center for Social Change and Inclusion.

Suwannee River Junior College

(1959-1966)

Suwannee River Junior College was located in Madison, Florida. It merged with North Florida Junior College.

The last three colleges of the ‘Magnificent 12’ are Johnson Junior College, Lincoln Junior College, and Jackson Junior College. All three colleges were closed after the 1964 Civil Rights Act was Passed. Johnson Junior College was open from 1960 to 1966, and was located in Leesburg, Florida. Lincoln Junior Colleges was open from 1960 to 1966, and was located in Fort Pierce, Florida. Lastly, was Jackson Junior College. It was open from 1961 to 1966, and was located in Marianna, Florida.

This image is of Lincoln Junior College.

Kittrell College 

(1886-1975)

Kittrell College was located in Kittrell, North Carolina. The school closed due to economic problems. After its closing, the school was used as a Federal Job Corporation.

Daniel Payne College

(1889-1979)

Daniel Payne College was located in Birmingham, Alabama. A destructive tornado and financial problems forced the school to file for bankruptcy. The school officially closed in 1979. Sayreton Road has been renamed to Daniel Payne Drive.

Friendship College

(1891-1981)

Friendship College was located in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The school closed due to financial mismanagement. The school gained nationwide fame after 8 students staged a sit-in at McCroy’s, a segregated eatery near the campus.

Mississippi Industrial College

(1905-1982)

Mississippi Industrial College was located in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Federal funding ceased which caused enrollment loses. The remains of the college marked a historical site on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bishop College

(1881-1988)

Bishop College was located in Dallas, Texas. A financial scandal caused it to lose its accreditation and funding. Georgetown College’s president proposed that the alumni make Georgetown their alma mater. Georgetown provides scholarships to family members and affiliates of the alumni. These students also receive diplomas with the name of Bishop College.

Prentiss Institute

(1907-1989)

This image is of a graduating class from Prentiss Institute. The date is unknown.

Prentiss Institute was located in Prentiss, Mississippi. The institution closed due to declining student enrollment and financial issues. A board of trustees filled with alumni preserve and protect all properties of the institution.

Natchez College

(1885- 1993)

Natchez College was located in Natchez, Mississippi. There has been no further information found about this institution.

Morristown College

(1881-1994)

Morristown College was located in Morristown, Tennessee. The school closed due to financial issues. It became the first school to be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as a junior college.

Mary Holmes College

(1892-2005)

Mary Holmes College was located in West Point, Mississippi. The school closed in 2005, after declaring bankruptcy. The school operated in West Point for 112 years and it withstood two fires.

Saints College

(1918-2006)

This image is of the health, fitness, and recreation center.

Saints College was located in Lexington, Mississippi. The declining black population caused the school to close. They were well known for their inclusion in the federal case, Coffey v. State Educational Finance Commission in 1969.

Saint Paul’s College

(1888-2013)

Saint Paul’s College was located in Lawrenceville, Virginia. The declining student enrollment caused the school to close. The founder, James Solomon Russel, was a former slave.

Lewis College of Business

(1928-2013)

Lewis College of Business was located in Detroit, Michigan. The school lost its accreditation in 2007, which put its future at stake. In 1987, Lewis College of Business was the only Historically Black College in Michigan.

Concordia College

(1922-2018)

Concordia College was located in Selma, Alabama. Declining enrollment and financial stress caused the school to close. This was the only HBCU in the country affiliated with the Lutheran church.

All of these prestigious institutions will be remembered as the vehicles that provided education for many of our ancestors. It is our job as current students, recent graduates, and supporters to make sure HBCUs stop closing. HBCUs make up just 3 percent of the overall colleges and universities’ in this nation. The number should be increasing not decreasing. Education is something that can never be taken from us so let’s stand tall and fight for what we all believe in.

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