Highlighting Bowie State University, the Oldest HBCU in Maryland

WTOP NEWS: Bowie State University in Prince George’s County was founded in 1865, making it the oldest and first historically Black university in Maryland.

Dr. Aminta Breaux, who became the university’s first female president in July 2017, told WTOP it’s essential to carry on the legacy of the ancestors who made the school possible.

“Here at Bowie State University, literally we wrap our arms around our students,” Breaux said, adding that it creates a supportive trusting environment that facilitates learning. “We have excellence on our campus with our academic programs. We have outstanding researchers doing amazing work, but you get that sense of belonging.”

Bowie State University has 29 undergraduate majors, 20 master’s degree programs, three doctoral programs, and 16 specialty certificates, and Breaux said the university continues to grow.

In 2021, after a 15-year court battle between the state of Maryland and the Coalition for Excellence and Equity in Maryland Higher Education, it was announced that four state HBCUs — Bowie State University, Morgan State University, Coppin State University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore — will be receiving $577 million in supplemental funding over a 10-year period.

The plaintiffs proved that the state violated the Constitution by failing to educationally enhance the programs offered at HBCUs in a manner that would allow them to be comparable and compete with the state’s predominantly white institutions.

The arrangement for the allocation is in its third year. Breaux said the money is being used toward new academic programs that are aligned with workforce needs and meet the needs of the university’s learners. She said they are strong in the area of STEM, cybersecurity and data analytics, and the funds continue to allow them to build on that foundation.

“When students leave Bowie State University, we want them set up for success in their workplace, in their communities,” Breaux said.

But most importantly, she expects the students to give back to their communities.

Breaux said that Bowie State is getting ready to break ground on a new residential building designed to accommodate 600 new beds for local students who want to stay on campus. They currently have about 2,000 students living on campus. As the school continues to grow, university officials want to be able to house more students, she said.

Breaux has been in higher education for over 35 years. She comes from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Temple University, a master’s degree in psychological services in education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate in counseling psychology from Temple University.

She hopes the future of the university includes “opening the door wider for more students to come to Bowie State University to achieve academic excellence.”

Previous Article

VA Still Split on Wizards/Caps Arena

Next Article

Maryland Ranks No. 3 on ‘Most Educated States’ List

You might be interested in …