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Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

An Extraordinary History

 Cheyney University of Pennsylvania Founded in 1837 as the Institute for Colored Youth,  is the oldest of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in America. The founding of Cheyney University was made possible by Richard Humphreys, a Quaker philanthropist who bequeathed, one tenth of his estate, (about $10,000) to design and establish a school to educate the descendants of the African race.

Born on a plantation in the West Indies, Richard Humphreys came to Philadelphia in 1764. Having witnessed the struggles of Africans who were brought to the Americas competing unsuccessfully for jobs due to the influx of immigrants, Humphreys became interested in their plight.

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Mission of Cheyney University

Cheyney University’s mission is to prepare confident, competent, reflective, visionary leaders and responsible citizens. We uphold our tradition of academic excellence as we maintain our historical commitment to opportunity and access for students of diverse backgrounds. Cheyney University provides a nurturing, intellectually challenging and socially enriching environment.

To learn more about Cheyney University of Pennsylvania’s history as the oldest educational institution for African American’s in the United States and its ongoing legacy of excellence, please click here.