Students from historically Black colleges and universities, also known as HBCUs, take immense pride coming from these establishments. That’s true now more than ever after the election of Vice President Kamala Harris, a graduate of Howard University.
Harris is now a woman of many firsts. The nation’s first woman, Black, South Asian and HBCU alumna vice president. Being that she graduated from Howard University, those who attend there, along with other HBCUs, feel proud to see someone coming from the same place as them holding the second-highest office.
Candi Meriwether, a Columbia College Chicago adjunct instructor in the Communication Department, assistant metro editor for the Chicago Sun-Times and Howard University alumna, was more than honored to see a person who shared a similar experience take this high office.
“Being able to observe someone like me whose had identical experiences as I have had, including that one on that campus, elected to the second-highest office in the country is very gratifying and I’m just elated,” Meriwether said.
Current Howard University students are also sharing this pride and feeling of honor with the college’s alumni.
“I had all types of school pride seeing that,” said Lloyd Maxwell, a sophomore at Howard. “Just imagining she was at the same place that I’m at now and seeing where she’s at now being the vice president of the United States is amazing.”
Jaden Ellison, a freshman at Howard, feels very proud to be connected by legacy.
“She has put the foot in the door for our school to get more recognition,” Ellison said.
Maxwell believes a lot of people have the idea that HBCUs don’t prepare students for the world.
“Now it’s undeniable that HBCUs prepare you just as equally as any other institution in the United States would,” Maxwell said.
More than preparing their students for the real world, HBCUs provide their students with a community and a safe place among others that look like them.
“An HBCU gives you the chance to finally see how it feels to be a majority and go to school with like-minded people who look like you and share aspirations for higher learning,” Maxwell said.
Meriwether said there’s an experience at a historically Black college that creates a community within the college community itself.
“It creates a bond,” Meriwether said. This bond connects all those that go to HBCUs, regardless of which schools they go to or when they were enrolled. This makes it feel especially exciting for these students and alumni to see one of their very own making such a huge accomplishment.