The University of Minnesota is launching a new program this fall in an effort to increase the retention and graduation rates of Black men. Ten Black male freshmen will live together in a living/learning community called Huntley House that will be located in Sanford Hall. The goal of Huntley House is to provide a sense of community and connectedness for African American males and opportunities for personal and academic growth in a supportive atmosphere to ensure their success in college and beyond.
The university’s Office of Equity and Diversity will facilitate mentorships with upperclassmen and faculty members to guide these first-year students through the educational process. All 10 Black men will enroll in a credit course entitled “Black Men: Representations and Reality.” As a group, students will attend various cultural events and activities in the Twin Cities, often with the staff and faculty of the Department of African American & African Studies. The group will have weekly dinners and once a month will dine with the Huntley House advisory board.
Huntley House is named in honor of Dr. Horace Huntley, a member of the first graduating class in 1970 of the African American & African Studies program at the University of Minnesota. He went on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and become a professor of history at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Huntley was one of the leaders in the Morrill Hall Takeover in the spring of 1969, when a small group of African American students occupied the University of Minnesota’s administration building. This takeover led to the establishment of a Black studies program at the university.