WASHINGTON - In 1837, philanthropist Richard Humphreys funded The Institute for Colored Youth.
Now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, it's considered the first and oldest historically black college and university in the United States.
Our FOX 5 anchors feel and live that HBCU connection every day.
They are sharing those connections with us in a 4-part series spotlighting the impact of HBCUs on them, their communities, and America’s history.
FOX 5 Anchor Allison Seymour graduated from Hampton University. She says, “Hampton just provided me with such a strong foundation. I didn't even know that though, before I left and I realized that everything that I learned here on campus weaves itself into really every day of my life.”
FOX 5 Anchor Wisdom Martin graduated from Jackson State University. He recalls the conversation his parents had with him about the school, “You’re going to Jackson State. Jackson State is not less than, none of the students are less than because we love Jackson State and you're going to love Jackson State too.”
FOX 5 Anchor Shawn Yancy didn’t attend an HBCU but her sorority was founded on the campus of Howard University. On a recent visit to the campus, she described the emotions she felt. “It makes me proud. It makes me proud to walk on this campus. I didn’t go to school here, but it makes me proud when we pulled up," Yancy said.
“When I set my foot on that campus -- I loved Jackson State -- and to this day I still love Jackson State, that's my school,” Martin shares.
Seymour says, “We call this our home by the sea and it is truly that. This school just wraps you up in a warm blanket and it's so nurturing.”
When asked about the teachers at Jackson State, Martin had this to say, “The people there are going to make sure that when you leave that campus you will have enough in you to deal with anything that comes your way. That's the most important thing about HBCUs -- it's a hardcore education with not a lot of frills.”
And Seymour agreed when it comes to Hampton University, “They are making sure you are equipped with what you need when you get out in the larger society.”
When asked about the impact her African-American sorority had on her life, Yancy shared, “We were getting clothes together for homeless people, we were working in the community. For me that is one of the key foundations of my life is wanting to give back and help other people.”