Dr. Henry Martin Tupper, Founder and First
, an institution of higher learning for African Americans (Negroes), was founded
December 1, 1865, when a theological class was formed in the old Guion Hotel
now stands. This class was formed by Dr. Henry Martin Tupper (Founder and First
President of Shaw University) who was honorably discharged from the Union Army
after serving for three years as a private and as a chaplain. On October 10,
1865, Dr. Tupper settled in
with his bride, Mrs. Sarah B. Tupper, and in December organized the class,
which was to develop into
Shortly after the formation of the theological class, Dr.
Tupper saw the need for expansion of his activities. With $500, which he had
saved while in the Army, he purchased a lot at the corner of Blount and Cabarrus
streets and there erected a two-storied wooden structure. With the help of a few
faithful followers, he constructed this building from timber prepared from trees
that they themselves had felled in the forest. The Raleigh Institute, as it was
called, was one of the largest structures of its kind in the city. Monetary
was through the American Baptist Home Mission Society and The Freedman’s
In 1870 the present site of
was purchased. It was then called the General Barringer Estate. In 1871 a
building was begun on this land. When it was finished in1872 it was named Shaw
Hall in honor of Mr. Elijah Shaw who gave the largest single contribution toward
its erection. At the same time the name of the school was changed to Shaw
Collegiate Institute. This remained until 1875 when the school was chartered and
incorporated by the State of
under the name of
In 1866 on March 1, the first class for colored women was
formed and has served both sexes since that time. Meanwhile, another building
had been erected for the purpose of housing the girls who were seeking
educational advantages at Shaw Collegiate Institute. This building was started
in 1873 and was called Estey Hall in honor of Jacob Estey who contributed
generously toward its erection. There followed a period of continued expansion
and success for Shaw
that time there were several buildings on campus: Estey Hall, Shaw Hall, the
chapel, the Medical Dormitory, the Administration building, the Industrial
building, laundry, the Leonard Medical building, hospital and Missionary
Training building. The value of the property at that time was $167,000.00.
George P. Hart of
was the first graduate of the Leonard School of Pharmacy in 1893 and Pearl R.
Wasson was the first female graduate. The last graduating class from the
was in 1918.
was founded in December 11, 1888 during a Board of Trustees’ meeting in New York.
This would be the only
for coloreds from
or any portion of the South. The
school graduated fifty-four students before closing in 1914.
has had an educational
impact nationally and internationally and still remains a coeducational Liberal
Arts institution. Many early students came from Central and South America and
. Some of the first Black
college–trained missionaries were Shaw graduates. Shaw has many “firsts as
leaders” who have helped gain renown for the University as a producer of Black
leaders. Today Shaw, a culturally diverse institution still produces leaders in
the twenty-first century.
lives up to the administrative motto: “Strides
to Excellence, Only the Best!”.
Wilmoth, A. (1973) Shaw’s Universe.
. D.C. Publishing, Inc. p. 1-229.
. Commercial Printing Company.
Research Hours Services Policies
Timeline Digital Archives
Records Records Management Archives
Library Fleming Collection
Shaw University Archives & Special Collections 2005