Tuskegee University

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There is also the Tuskegee Airmen, a corps of African-American military pilots trained there during World War II
The Tuskegee Syphilis Study was conducted at this university, a controversial study of syphillis on black men
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1940 photo, Junior class in farm management at Tuskegee Institute.

Tuskegee University is an American institution of higher learning located in Tuskegee, Alabama. The school was the dream of Lewis Adams, a former slave. Adams, who had no formal education, could read and write, and speak several languages. He also was an experienced tinsmith, harnessmaker and shoemaker and an acknowledged leader of the community. Adams was especially concerned that, without an education, the recently freed former slaves would not be able to support themselves.

W.F. Foster, a white candidate for the Alabama Senate, came to Adams with a question. What would Adams want in return for securing the votes of African Americans in Macon County for Foster? Adams asked for a school.

Foster was elected, and worked with fellow legislator Arthur L. Brooks to draft and pass legislation authorizing $2,000 to create the school. Adams, Thomas Dyer, and M.B. Swanson formed Tuskegee's first board of commissioners. They wrote to Hampton Institute in Virginia, asking the school to recommend a teacher. Hampton sent Booker T. Washington and the school opened on July 4, 1881 under his leadership as a school for the training of teachers.

The campus is still centered on the grounds of a plantation which Dr. Washington bought in 1882. The buildings were constructed by students, many of whom earned all or part of their expenses. The school was a living example of Dr. Washington's dedication to the pursuit of self-reliance. One of his great concerns was to teach African-American former slaves the practical skills needed to succeed at farming or other trades. One of its most noteworthy professors was Dr. George Washington Carver, who was recruited to teach there by Dr. Washington.

Washington had his students do not only agricultural and domestic work, but also erect buildings. This was done in order to teach his students to see labor not only as practical, but also as beautiful and dignified.

In 1941, in an effort to train black aviators, a training squadron was established at Tuskegee Institute. These aviators became known as the Tuskegee Airmen.

The storied Tuskegee baseball program has won thirteen SIAC (*) championships and has produced several professional players, including big-leaguers Leon Wagner, Ken Howell, Alan Mills and Roy Lee Jackson. Not to mention, Tuskegee is the Winningest HBCU in the United States when it comes to College Football boasting over 570 wins, over 24 SIAC Championships,7 National Black College National Championships and 24 NFL Draft Picks, also Tuskegee Football is a Top 40 Football tradition in the South. Tuskegee was also the first black College to have a Football stadium(Abbott Stadium).

Claude McKay studied at the University briefly in 1912. Musician Lionel Richie is a Tuskegee graduate. New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin also earned his undergraduate degree here.

The Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site is located on the campus, and includes the George Washington Carver Museum.

To this day Tuskegee University still stands for academic excellence Booker T. Washington built by being ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of "America's Best Colleges".

(*) Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference

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