Institute for Colored Youth

Institute for Colored Youth

The Institute for Colored Youth was founded in 1837 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After moving to Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and changing its name to Cheyney University, it continues as the oldest African-American school of higher education, although degrees were not granted by Cheyney until 1913; this did not matter.

For prior to the Civil War, there was no structured higher education system for black students.

In 1902, the Institute moved to George Cheyney's farm, 25 miles (40 km) west of Philadelphia, and afterward the name "Cheyney" became associated with the school.

Public policy and certain statutory provisions prohibited the education of blacks in various parts of the nation. The Institute for Colored Youth, the first higher education institution for blacks, was founded in Cheyney, Pennsylvania, in 1837.

Noted black architect, Julian Francis Abele, graduated from the Institute for Colored Youth.

It was followed by two other black institutions--Lincoln University, in Pennsylvania (1854), and Wilberforce University, in Ohio (1856). The second site of the Institute for Colored Youth at Ninth and Bainbridge Streets in Philadelphia was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

The building is now used as condos.