Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas, Transitions to University Status

Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas, is no more. The educational institution has transitioned to Philander Smith University. The university now offers an MBA program.

Founded in 1877, Philander Smith College was the first attempt west of the Mississippi River to make education available to freedmen (former African American slaves). The forerunner of the college was Walden Seminary, named in honor of Dr. J.M. Walden, one of the originators and the first corresponding secretary of the Freedmen’s Aid Society. The name was changed to honor a major donor to the college. Philander Smith College was chartered as a four-year college on March 3, 1883. The first baccalaureate degree was conferred in 1888.

Today, Philander Smith University enrolls about 800 students. Some 85 percent of the students are African Americans.

In a statement, the university explained that “by becoming a university, the institution aims to elevate its academic offerings, broaden its scope of influence, and foster a dynamic learning environment for students. This transition reflects the college’s commitment to growth, innovation, and excellence in higher education.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Higher Education Gifts or Grants of Interest to African Americans

Here is this week’s news of grants or gifts to historically Black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

Elizabeth City State University Establishes Transfer Agreements With a Local Community College

Through three recently signed agreements, students at the College of the Albemarle now have the opportunity for a seamless transfer to Elizabeth City State University upon completion of their associate's degree.

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Reports on Demographic Disparities Within American Public Workforce

The report found that Black workers in overrepresented occupations make about $20,000 to $30,000 less than the compensation of White workers in overrepresented fields. African Americans were also found to be more likely than White Americans to work in a lower-wage, segregated occupations.

Christon Arthur Named First Black President of La Sierra University in California

Upon assuming his new role on July 1, Dr. Arthur will become the first Black president of La Sierra University. He has served as provost of Andrews University in Michigan for the past eight years.

Featured Jobs