On January 9th 2015, students and officials of Bowie State University gathered for a luncheon to celebrate its 150th birth anniversary. Opened in 1865, it was the first free school in Baltimore, Md. Since then, it has developed into comprehensive liberal arts university educating and preparing students for careers in high demand fields such as information technology and cyber security.
Originally, the first school was founded by 46 visionary men committed to establish schools to educate the state’s newly emancipated citizens. They formed The Baltimore Association for the Moral and Educational Improvement of the Colored People and opened many schools throughout the state for the black population. In the beginning, the school offered courses in the elements of education and gradually courses to train teachers were added in 1866. It was in 1938 that the school evolved into a state teachers college and then in 1963 into a liberal arts college, finally achieving the university status in the year 1988. But even though the school has witnesses many changes in the last 150 years, its reputation in its teaching program remains rooted.
Perhaps, that’s why BSU’s yearlong 150th anniversary celebration is significant as it commemorates a very long period of service to the people of Maryland in terms of education. It truly celebrates the vision of the founders.
During the luncheon the school colors were highlighted everywhere. From the table decor which was filled with plenty of food choices to the balloon decor on the walls in gold black and white colors. Old school music filled the room and everyone young or old gathered to shake a leg. But it’s not over yet. The university’s new website not only details its history but also a yearlong slate of celebration events. From a pictorial exhibition of Bowie State University’s history to an elegant evening of awards there is a lot to follow. The celebration has just begun!
Here is a list of events to follow:
1 – 3 p.m.
|Birthday Celebration: Bowie State University marks the date of its founding in 1865.|
|January 13||Back to Baltimore — A Sesquicentennial Luncheon: Bowie State University returns to the city of its origin to officially launch the year-long Sesquicentennial Celebration.|
|February – April||Sesquicentennial Exhibit: A pictorial exhibit of Bowie State University’s history will be on display in the state’s capital.|
|March 3||Bowie State University Day in Annapolis: Students, alumni and friends will visit their state legislators, while the Bowie State colleges showcase their accomplishments.|
|HBCU Presidents Forum: A panel of distinguished presidents will come together for a thoughtful, strategic discussion about the future of historically black universities.|
1 – 4 p.m.
|Sesquicentennial Lecture Series — Empowering the Next Generation of Visionaries: Acclaimed scholar Dr. Tukufu Zuberi will link the work of President Kwame Nkrumah and Nobel Laureates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and President Nelson Mandela with the efforts of black college pioneers to help the next generation consider, conceive, and fulfill the promise of freedom in the 21st century.|
|Sesquicentennial Founder’s Day Celebration: The annual Founder’s Day Convocation will be a celebration of excellence highlighting student achievement. The convocation will be followed by a campus celebration in the Student Center.|
|Founder’s Day Awards Gala: An elegant evening of fine dining and live entertainment as Bowie State University honors individuals and organizations that have made a significant impact on the university and the community.|