Attending Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) as a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) was a transformative experience that greatly impacted my personal and professional journey. As one of 32 members of my family to attend a HBCU (no member of my family has attended a PWI for undergraduate studies) our history and legacy is peaked on that educational mountain.
ECSU’s status carries a rich heritage and legacy of academic excellence and social progress in the State of North Carolina, fostering a sense of pride and connection to the African American community.
The close-knit community at ECSU nurtures personal growth and success. Students, faculty, and staff form strong relationships, promoting a sense of belonging and support.
Bowie State University is the oldest Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the state of Maryland. Established in 1865, Bowie State has played a pivotal role in providing students with access to higher education and fostering a nurturing environment that celebrates the unique cultural heritage of the institution. Today, Bowie State continues to be a beacon of academic excellence and inclusivity, while focusing on empowering future generations of students to excel in their chosen fields and contribute meaningfully to society.
Linnet Griffiths is a proud graduate of Bowie State University. Linnet chose Bowie State for several reasons; it was affordable, it was an HBCU and, most importantly, it was close to home.
As a third generation HBCU grad, CAPT Jennifer N. Lind, PharmD, MPH, MBA, has a rich family history of HBCU attendance. Jennifer’s road to attending an HBCU was paved decades before she ever attended college. And it all started with one promise.
Despite being born in 1895 and unable to get a formal education herself, Jennifer’s maternal Great-Grandmother understood the importance of an education. So much so, that on her death bed, she made her husband promise that he would allow their two young daughters to finish their education…something that was extremely rare for women, particularly African-American women, at the time.
I didn’t know I wanted to attend a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) until I visited one during a high school college visit. I immediately felt welcomed, protected, encouraged, and a member of an extended family.
Attending Howard University in Washington, DC, in the 1990s was an interesting time — although my classmates and I had the academic and extracurricular experiences of most college students, we saw the hard-hitting effects of what happened when drugs were introduced to a major metropolitan city. As a
student in the School of Communications, journalism professors pushed students to explore how local and national news covered the issues of drugs, health, race, and what I later learned to be social determinants.
My experience attending HBCUs created a sense of pride that’s difficult to put into words. It provided a diverse yet inclusive community of scholarship that celebrates the richness of African American experience. This created an unmatched sense of community and provided me with lifelong friends and mentors.
I had the privilege to attend two HBCUs – Grambling State University where I received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Jackson State University where I received a Master of Public Health. At Grambling the motto is Where Everybody is Somebody. This inclusive environment allowed me to grow and flourish in a field where I can give back to my community and American society.
I started a career in science at the historic Tuskegee University. “Tuskegee was key to my development as a scientist and public health professional. The University is steeped in a rich history of Black excellence, and I was pushed to reach my full potential. While there I was nurtured by professors who demanded intellectual curiosity, scientific innovation, and thoughtful consideration. Those lessons influence my work daily.”