Location & Contact Information

1055 N. Bickett Road
Wilberforce, Ohio 45384
Main Phone: (937) 376-2911
Main Contact: Juan Alexander

Campus Queens

Student Members

Alumni Members

Wilberforce University

     Wilberforce University is a unique institution located in a state rich in America's private college tradition. Founded prior to the end of slavery in 1856, it is the nation's oldest, private African-American university. For 156 years WU has, through sheer force of will, provided young African-American students with a solid educational experience.

Quick Facts

Undergrad Population: 1180
Graduate Population: 0
Student Body: Coed
In State Tuition: $12470
Out of State Tuition: $12470
Room & Board: $5700
Applications Due: Priority: 1/1 Normal: 6/1 ($25)
Mascot: Bulldogs
Online Classes: no
Percent Men: 43%
Percent Women: 57%

Online Admissions Application:

Majors Offered

-Mass Media Communications

Social Sciences
-Political Science
-Rehabilitation Services
-Social Work

Business and Economics

Engineering and Computing Sciences
-Computer Engineering
-Electrical Engineering
-Computer Science

Natural Sciences
-Health Services Administration

Sports & Extra Curricular Activities
Choral Groups, Dance, Fraternities, Radio Station, Sororities, Student Newspaper
College History
     Founded in 1856, Wilberforce University can trace its origin to a period of history before the Civil War, when the Ohio Underground Railroad was established as a means of escape for all those blacks who sought their freedom in the North from the yoke of slavery, one of the destination points of this railroad became Wilberforce University. As the Underground Railroad provided a route from physical bondage, the University was formed to provide an intellectual Mecca and refuge from slavery's first rule: ignorance.
     Wilberforce University, the nation's oldest private, historically black university, was named to honor the great 18th century abolitionist, William Wilberforce. Early in 1856, the Methodist Episcopal Church purchased property for the new institution at Tawawa Springs, near Xenia, Ohio. The school met with early success until the Civil War when enrollment and financial support dwindled. The original Wilberforce closed its doors in 1862. In March of the following year, Bishop Daniel A. Payne of the African Methodist Episcopal Church negotiated to purchase the University's facilities. Payne, a member of the original 1856 corporation, secured the cooperation of John G. Mitchell, principal of the Eastern District Public School of Cincinnati, Ohio and James A. Shorter, pastor of the A.M.E. Church of Zanesville, Ohio. The property was soon turned over to them as agents of the church.
     The University was newly incorporated on July 10, 1863. In 1887 the State of Ohio began to fund the University by establishing a combined normal and industrial department. This department later became the University's sister institution, Central State University. Wilberforce also spawned another institution, Payne Theological Seminary. It was founded in 1891 as an outgrowth of the Theological Department at Wilberforce University.
     Today, Wilberforce University continues to build on its sacred tradition. It is a four-year, fully accredited liberal arts institution. The 1990s were good years for the University, ushering in a period of growth and financial accountability. Wilberforce University offers some 20 fully accredited liberal arts concentrations to students in business, communications, computing and engineering sciences, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. It offers dual degree programs in architecture, aerospace, and nuclear engineering in conjunction with the University of Cincinnati. Other dual degree programs are available in electrical and mechanical engineering in cooperation with the University of Dayton, and in law with St. John's University School of Law. The University's Adult and Continuing Education Program, CLIMB (Credentials for Leadership in Management and Business), annually attracts some 200 nontraditional students interested in completing bachelor of science degrees in organizational management, health care administration and information technology.
     During the last few years, five new facilities have been built and dedicated: a $2.1 million Wolfe Administration Building, which houses the administrative offices of the University; the $2.5 million Alumni Multiplex, which provides state-of-the-art academic, sports and recreational facilities for the campus and intercollegiate sports at the University; a $100,000 Student Health Center, which provides medical services from on-site physicians and health care providers; a $200,000 Communications Complex, which houses the Mass Media Communications Program, the campus television studio and campus newspaper production facilities; the new $4.5 million John L. Henderson Hall, capable of housing 110 students; and the new $2.5 million Louis Stokes Health and Wellness Center.
     The University continues to attract an increasing number of student scholars who are active on the campus newspaper, the Forensic Team, Campus Ministry programs, the University Choir, the Jazz Band, the Men's and Women's Basketball Teams, WURS-Radio Station, Greek and honorary societies and student government.
     Wilberforce University has made excellent progress in its programmatic and outreach thrust. It has a specialized Institute for African-American/Israel Exchange Program; Study Abroad programs in Egypt and Lancaster, England; a Caribbean student exchange program; articulation agreements with major two-year colleges across the country; and a 10-year student-faculty Collaboration Program with Antioch University.
     The University has established a number of outreach programs, as well as national and international initiatives such as the expansion of its study abroad programs; the procurement in October 1998 of a $2.5 million Congressional appropriation grant to renovate the health care facility on campus and a $1 million grant to develop a new academic program focusing on computer science and engineering; a $1.3 million grant from NASA in 1992 to establish what is now a teaching collaboration and research center at Wilberforce University; the creation of The Minority Male Health Consortium through the University Family Life Center; and the development of the Wilberforce Intensive Summer Experience (WISE) Program that brings some 50 incoming freshmen students to campus each summer for an intensive five-week, major-focused program of study.
     The brush stroke that completes the picture of Wilberforce University is its mandatory Cooperative Education Program. Wilberforce bears the distinction of being only one of two four-year institutions in the country to require internships as a requirement for graduation. Cooperative Education has been the heartbeat of academics at Wilberforce. The program has seen many others attempt to duplicate its success story, but to date no other has been able. Wilberforce University has been cited for its excellence in many publications such as Black Enterprise, Better Homes & Gardens, Career, and the Black Employment & Education Journal.
More Campus Photos
Unique Programs
News and Upcoming Events at Wilberforce University

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