New Book Explores the History of Storer College in West Virginia

Storer_CollegeStorer College was founded in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in 1865 by the Freewill Baptist Home Mission Society. It was the first college in West Virginia that admitted African Americans.

The college was the site of the second national conference of the Niagara Movement in 1906. Frederick Douglass spoke on campus in 1881.

After the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education and the subsequent racial integration of colleges and universities in West Virginia, Storer College closed its doors in 1955. Its campus is now part of the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. Its endowment was transferred to Virginia Union University in Richmond. Virginia Union University now considers Storer graduates as its alumni.

The story of this unique chapter in Black higher education history is told in a new book An American Phoenix: A History of Storer College From Slavery to Desegregation, 1865-1955 (West Virginia University Press, 2015). The book is authored by Dawne Raines Burke, an assistant professor of education at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The research for the book was done in conjunction with Dr. Burke’s doctoral dissertation at Virginia Tech.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Three African Americans Appointed to New Academic Positions

Leon Prieto, Kofi Afrifah, and Andrea Moore have been appointed to new academic positions at Clayton University, Bowie State University, and Savannah State University, respectively.

Historic HBCU Landmark Revitalized Through National Park Service Grant

Through three restoration grants totaling $2 million, the Rosenwald Practice School and Principal House will be fully restored, becoming the new home for the Northeastern North Carolina African American Research and Cultural Heritage Institute.

Five Black Leaders Appointed to Administrative Positions

Here is this week’s roundup of African American who have been appointed to new administrative positions at colleges and universities throughout the United States. If you have news for our appointments section, please email the information to

North Carolina A&T University Establishes Research Partnership with Collins Aerospace

“There are direct relations to the research we do in the College of Engineering and the mission purpose of Collins Aerospace,” said Stephanie Luster-Teasley, interim dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University. “Being able to partner with Collins really gives our students the opportunities for hands-on research at each level – undergraduate and graduate.”

Featured Jobs