Missouri Valley

Get to Know the HBCUs in Our Section

February 22, 2022

If you watched the 2021 US Open, you might have seen the celebration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). But did you know there are three located in our section? Learn a little more about each HBCU and the history behind them.


HBCUs were founded in the early 19th century to provide educational opportunities to people of African descent. They continue to serve their mission of providing education to three core groups: African-American students, first-generation students or low-income students. While the majority (~89%) of HBCUs are in the south, they can be found as far north as Delaware, including two in Missouri and one in Oklahoma. Read on to learn a bit more about each of the three in our section.

Harris-Stowe State Univeristy


Established: 1857


Location: St. Louis, Missouri


Did You Know? In 1957, Vashon Community Center became the first athletic and recreational building for African American youth. In 1999, HSSU purchased Vashon and its land from the city. Currently, the center in undergoing a $6 million renovation. Learn more.


Langston University 

Established: 1897


Location: Langston, Oklahoma

Did You Know? The bill establishing the university stipulated that the college would have to be built on land purchased by the citizens. Picnics, auctions and bake sales were held to raise money, and the land was purchased within a year by black settlers determined to provide hgher education for their children. The school opened in a Presbyterian Church in Langston and quickly grew to cover 160 acres with an enrollment of 650. Learn more.


Lincoln University

Established: 1866


Location: Jefferson City, Missouri


Did You Know? In 1982, Lincoln University launched its women's tennis program. The team finished second in its first season before capturing back-to-back Missouri Intercollegiate Association Conference championships in 1983 and '84. Five-time Grand Slam champion Althea Gibson taught physical education here from 1953-1955. Learn more.


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