After the Civil War ended, members of the First Congregational Society of Washington wanted to establish a seminary to educate African-American clergyman. They soon added a liberal arts college and medical school to the plan.
Their idea eventually grew to what is known as Howard University, chartered on March 2, 1867.
The school was named after founder Gen. Oliver O. Howard, who led the Union army in the Civil War, and was the commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau. By 1960, the University had expanded to 10 schools and colleges, all fully accredited, and 6,000 students.
The school boasts of many distinguished alumni, including the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, author Toni Morrison, actress Phylicia Rashad and former mayor and United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young.
Today, Howard produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D.s than any other university in the world.