I have mentioned it before but let me firmly state that I am so proud that I am a product of an HBCU. Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before 1964 with the intention of serving the black community. There are 105 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States today, including public and private, two-year and four-year institutions, medical schools and community colleges. All are or were in the former slave states and territories of the U.S. except for Central State University (Ohio), Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Lewis College of Business (Detroit, Michigan), Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), Wilberforce University (Ohio), and now-defunct Western University (Kansas). Some closed during the 20th century due to competition, the Great Depression and financial difficulties after operating for decades.
Fisk University is a historically black university founded in 1866 in Nashville, Tennessee to educate newly freed slaves of all ages, Fisk University -- originally known as the Fisk Free Colored School -- would eventually become a premiere liberal arts institution. The school owes it origins to both the hunger of ex-slaves for formal education and the missionary zeal of a group of Northern whites raised in abolitionist families who dedicated themselves to the education of African Americans. At a time when recently freed blacks were establishing makeshift schools all over the South (making do with abandoned buildings and untrained teachers) the opening of Fisk in Nashville was greeted with tremendous excitement. Within the first four months of the school's existence, Fisk enrolled nine hundred students. The world-famous Fisk Jubilee Singers started as a group of students who performed to earn enough money to save the school at a critical time of financial shortages. They toured to raise funds to build the first building for the education of freedmen. They succeeded and funded construction of the renowned Jubilee Hall, now a designated National Historic Landmark.
· Fisk University is one of four Historically Black Colleges and Universities to earn a tier one ranking on the list of Best National Liberal Arts Colleges in the 2011 edition of Best Colleges by U.S. News and World Reports. Of the 1,400 institutions ranked nationwide, only 246 institutions earned tier one status.
· Fisk is on Parade Magazine's "A List" for colleges and universities who offer both a Bachelor's and Master's degree.
· In 2010, the Washington Monthly ranked Fisk 29th among America's Best Liberal Arts Colleges.
· According to the Princeton Review, Fisk University is one of America's 373 Best Colleges & Universities.