Deacon Henry Brewster Decides To Create Howard University

On November 20, 1866, ten members of the First Congregational Society of Washington, D.C. gathered in the home of Deacon Henry Brewster for a missionary meeting.

While there, they resolved to establish a seminary for the training of African-American preachers. By early 1867, the founders had broadened their mission to encompass a liberal arts college and university.

Howard University was incorporated on March 2, 1867, and accepted its first students the following May. Its founders envisioned the institution as a resource for the training of black teachers and preachers for the purpose of educating and uplifting the nearly four million recently emancipated slaves.

Howard University is a private, coeducational, nonsectarian, historically black university located in Washington, D.C., United States.

Howard was established by a charter in 1867, and much of its early funding came from endowment, private benefaction, and tuition. An annual congressional appropriation administered by the Secretary of the Interior funded the school.[citation needed] It was named for founder Oliver Otis Howard who was commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau and who later served as a president of the school. Today, it is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund[3] and is partially funded by the US Government, which gives approximately $235 million annually. From its outset, it was nonsectarian and open to people of both sexes and all races. Howard has graduate schools of pharmacy, law, medicine, dentistry and divinity, in addition to the undergraduate program. The current enrollment is approximately 11,000, including 7,000 undergraduates. The university's football homecoming activities serve as one of the premier annual events in Washington.

For wherever and whenever measures are advanced for the welfare of the people and the direction of the masses there the sons of Howard will be found in the midst of them…”

— Professor Kelly Miller, President's Address, Sixth Triennial Meeting of the College Alumni Association of Howard University, College Chapel, May 18, 1892.