Howard at 150

Howard University's history runs deep.

Deep into the excellence-drenched grounds of the main campus, where what seems like almost every African American who was somebody put down roots here.

Deep into those hearts and minds of the same folk who hold their beloved Alma Mater near and dear to their hearts wherever life may have taken them.

Deep, deep, deep down into boxes and boxes, files and files of old images that tell the story that is The Hilltop.

For this special edition of the Howard Magazine that celebrates the University’s 150th Anniversary, I spent hours and days on end with this history on paper in the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center selecting the most appropriate historic imagery to represent Howard’s past to present in these pages. Each day I arrived at the Center, a pair of soft, white gloves were laid out on the long table in front of my chair with boxes of history I’d requested. The boxes contained old images of Howard infrastructure, students, athletics, notable visitors and faculty–many of who had claimed their stakes as true academicians on a national and international front for themselves right here on these grounds. After sifting through about 1,000 images, each arranged by folder and subject matter, a small team and I meticulously selected those we thought were best representative of each of the Bison Gallery pages–for you.

In this issue, we take a walk in the thick of Howard’s rich history. While the images will bring the University’s historic moments to life, so will the stories. You’ll read an exposition from the most knowledgeable Michael R. Winston, Ph.D., about the University’s evolution over the years. You’ll take in stories about one of the first pharmacy graduates; a Japanese-American College of Dentistry grad who was confined in concentration camps in his youth; a handful of College of Engineering & Architecture graduates who played a part in the National Museum of African American History and Culture becoming a reality; and a 7-year-old physics-and-chemistry genius, who is the son of two Howard alumni, and is believed to be capable of attending college as early as age 12. We highlight so much more than this here, knowing that there is no way possible to include all of the greats who walked through the gates of the Mecca.

So, come with me. Let’s take a walk through Howard’s past, while we look toward its bustling future.

RaNeeka Claxton Witty, M.F.A.




“Connecting You to HU” is our goal. Howard alumni truly define this university and reinforce the powerful legacy that is our alma mater.