Cheyney University of Pennsylvania


Cheyney University was established on February 25, 1837, through the bequest of Richard Humphreys, making it the first institution of higher learning for African Americans. At its founding in 1837, the university was named the African Institute. However, the name was changed several weeks later to the Institute for Colored Youth (ICY). In subsequent years, the university was renamed Cheyney Training School for Teachers (July 1914), Cheyney State Teacher’s College (1951), Cheyney State College (1959), and eventually Cheyney University of Pennsylvania (1983). Cheyney University upholds their tradition of academic excellence as well as maintains their historical commitment to opportunity and access for students of all diverse backgrounds.

Notable Alumni: James “Big Cat” Williams- Former NFL player; Levy Lee Simon- Award-winning playwright