America’s Oldest Private Historically Black College or University, Wilberforce University, Keeps Accreditation

Photo: Lisa Powell, Dayton Daily News

Ohio’s historically black Wilberforce University, the nation’s oldest private historically black college, once attracted some of the top black educators of the day, including sociologist, historian, and civil rights leader, and also one of the co-founders of the NAACP, W.E.B. Du Bois. Du Bois, writes Jennifer Beck at, was “one of the leading intellectuals of the 20th century.” Today the university continues to move forward and “promises growth” after another scare, this time there ‘was a warning that the university, about 30 miles east of Dayton, could lose accreditation, which is needed in order to offer federal grants and loans,” writes Karen Farkas at

But now Wilberforce is “fully operating under the best practices,” says school officials.

“It’s a great day at Wilberforce University,” says the university’s new President Algeania Warren Freeman, who the school board recently praised for keeping the 160-year-old black university “on the right path” and keeping the legacy and culture alive at the WU.

“As a student, it means that your degree holds weight,” Student Body President Chaz Waller explained. “It has some merit behind it even the education is still what it is– it actual has merit behind it being back by being endorsed by the Higher Learning Commission.”

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