Bigger, Bolder, Brighter: Virtual HBCU Event Comes to Campus

Last week, nearly three dozen Black and African American sophomores, juniors, seniors, and their parents tuned into the College Counseling Office’s first HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) event to learn the benefits of attending such storied institutions. Moderated by Warren Quirett, associate director of college counseling, the virtual discussion between four admissions officers from Xavier University of Louisiana, Tuskegee University, Morehouse College, and Alcorn State University highlighted the merits of HBCUs.

HBCUs have been part of the higher education landscape for over 180 years, and there are currently 107 HBCUs across the country with more than 228,000 students enrolled. Quirrett says: “For a large swath of the people living in the U.S., the letters ‘HBCU’ are unfamiliar. The goal of this program was to educate, inform, and highlight the indisputable importance of these institutions within our country — and to not only celebrate the legacy of HBCUs but also reinvest in them.”

Roslyn White of Alcorn State University spoke of the advantages of HBCUs for students of color, telling them that everything they need to succeed is easily accessible on campus. “It’s right there. It’s in every class you go to. It’s in every professor.”

Representatives also emphasized the strength of the alumni communities at HBCUs. “Alums from HBCUs connect on another level. It is a family affair. They want to make sure that you’re well connected and well served,” said Jazmane Brown of Xaviar University of Louisiana.

As Quirett led the discussion through thoughtful questions, the group touted the unparalleled love of institution and school pride present on HBCU campuses, pointing specifically to the long-standing tradition of homecoming. “It’s a space for Black brilliance and Black joy,” reflected Dr. Thelbert Snowden, Jr. of Morehouse College.

When asked about the importance of the event for Episcopal’s students of color, Quirett wrote: “These institutions are the engine that has driven the ascent from enslavement to the highest positions in business, government, education, science, technology, and entertainment. HBCUs, in the education of African Americans, activate what it means to be American.”