Coppin was founded in 1900 at what was then called Colored High School by the Baltimore City School Board who initiated a one-year training course for the preparation of African-American elementary school teachers. By 1902, the training program was expanded to a two-year Normal Department within the high school, and seven years later separated again from the high school and given its own principal. In 1926, this facility for teacher training was named Fanny Jackson Coppin Normal School in honor of the outstanding African-American pioneer in teacher education. Fanny Jackson Coppin, born a slave in Washington, D.C., gained her freedom, graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio, and founded the Philadelphia Institute that was the forerunner of Cheyney State University. By 1938 authority was given to the school for the granting of Bachelor of Science degrees, and the name changed to Coppin Teachers College. In 1950, Coppin became part of the higher education system of Maryland under the State Department of Education, and renamed Coppin State Teachers College. In acknowledgment of the goals and objectives of the College, the Board of Trustees ruled in 1963 that the institution’s degree-granting authority would no longer be restricted to teacher education. Following this ruling, Coppin was officially renamed Coppin State College, and in 1967 the first Bachelor of Arts degree was conferred. Today, Coppin State University is a model urban, residential liberal arts university located in the northwest section of the City of Baltimore that continues to provide academic programs in the arts and sciences, teacher education, nursing, graduate studies, and continuing education.
Notable Alumni: Bishop L. Robinson– first African American Police Commissioner of Baltimore City; Stephanie Ready– first female coach in professional men’s basketball; Raheem DeVaughn– R&B and Neo-Soul artist; Margaret “Peggy” Murphy– first black woman to chair the Baltimore City Delegation