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We are pleased to pay tribute to the family, friends and faculty of CHEYNEY UNIVERSITY.
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Founded as the African Institute in February 1837 and renamed the Institute of Coloured Youth (ICY) in April 1837, Cheyney University is the oldest African American school of higher education, although degrees were not granted from Cheyney until 1913.
The founding of Cheyney University was made possible by Richard Humphreys, a Quaker philanthropist who bequeathed $10,000, one tenth of his estate, to design and establish a school to educate people of African descent.
Born on a plantation in the West Indies, Humphreys came to Philadelphia in 1764, where he became concerned about the struggles of free African Americans to make a living. News of a race riot in 1829 prompted Humphreys to write his will, in which he charged thirteen fellow Quakers to design an institution "to instruct the descendents of the African Race in school learning, in the various branches of the mechanic Arts, trades and Agriculture, in order to prepare and fit and qualify them to act as teachers...."
Founded as the African Institute, the school was soon renamed the Institute for Colored Youth.
In its early years it provided a classical education to young African Americans in Philadelphia. In 1902 the Institute moved to George Cheyney's farm, 25 miles (40 km) west of Philadelphia, the name "Cheyney" became associated with the school in 1913.
The school's official name changed several times during the twentieth century. In 1983, Cheyney joined the State System of Higher Education as Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.
Cheyney university offers baccalaureate degrees in more than 30 disciplines and the masterâ??s degree in education.
Today, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania is a public, co-educational historically black university that is a part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Cheyney University has a 275-acre (1.11 km2) campus that is located in the Cheyney community within Thornbury Township, Chester County and Thornbury Township, Delaware County.