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HBCU Trivia

How much do you know about your HBCU? You might know everything about it—from its origins to the reason why your school chose its mascot. How well would you do when tested on others? Let’s find out with some HBCU Trivia. Check out these 10 questions and see how many you’ve got down.

Which school does this popular motto come from? “The Eagle is no common, ordinary barnyard fowl. And while a Sparrow clings to its flock, an Eagle soars alone”

NCCU! Founder Dr. James E. Shepard was known for this foundational motto in his annual welcome speeches at the beginning of the year. He offered this up as an explanation for the eagle mascot.


Which university had the first fraternity at a black college?

Howard University’s Omega Psi Phi was established in 1911 as the first international fraternal organization founded on the campus of an HBCU. Go Bison!


What is the name is Winston-Salem University’s ram?

In 1978, the name chosen from a “Name the Ram” contest was Amon! The name itself signifies power, and Amon the West African deity is considered to be the god of mankind’s welfare. The winner chose not to reveal their name.


Which HBCU did W.E.B. DuBois attend?

DuBois attended Fisk University in 1885, where he excelled academically and socially. Fisk’s honors program is named after him.


What denomination is Xavier University of Louisiana affiliated with?

Catholic. Katharine Drexel, who later became Mother Katharine, used her bestowed wealth for philanthropy for Native Americans and African Americans. In 1925, she bought the building Southern University was forced to move out of and called the school St. Francis Xavier.


What was the first HBCU?

Trick question! There is an ongoing feud between Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and Lincoln University on who was the first. Cheyney was established in 1837 but wasn’t chartered until 1914. On the other hand, Lincoln was simultaneously founded and chartered in 1854. The argument boils down to what people consider to be “first”—foundation or charter year? You tell us.


Which Atlanta school was ranked #1 in Best Colleges (for HBCUs) by U.S. News?

The ladies of Spelman College earned that #1 spot! This institution is for women only with alumna like Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, and Audrey F. Manley, the former surgeon general of the United States. Spelman ranked #51 in the 2019 edition of Best Colleges for National Liberal Arts Colleges.


Which HBCU had to close its doors in 2005?

Mary Holmes College was located in Wes Point, Mississippi originally established for the education of black women in 1892. It filed for bankruptcy in 2004, and the following year it closed down. Just months later, the Community Counseling Services bought the school.


Which HBCU is the #1 producer of black aerospace engineers in the United States?

Tuskegee University is a top STEM school, producing graduates in fields like chemical, mechanical, and electrical engineering. This is also where the “Tuskegee Airmen” originated from, in partnership with the U.S. Army Air Corps.


After tossing its football program, which school turned its football field into a farm?

Paul Quinn College’s football program was too expensive, so Michael Sorrell’s (who was the newly appointed president) decision to scrap it was made. In its place, Paul Quinn developed the WE over ME farm. This farm employs students, feeding southern Dallas with fresh and affordable locally grown produce. It is now the first historically black work college, meaning students are required to work with money going towards tuition costs and their own account. The farm even supplies the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium with food!