Courtesy of Howard University
**FILE** Courtesy of Howard University

Howard University spends more than $800 million annually and the historically Black university operates a workforce development program that trains 50 students for technology jobs while the university’s business school provides free tax services to District residents, helping them receive more than $650,000 in refunds.

Further, the university has a public charter middle school on campus with nearly 300 students enrolled from across the District and Howard participates in D.C. Public Schools dual enrollment program where approximately 20 high school students take college courses for free and earn credits upon successful completion.

Those are just some of the benefits the city reaps from the university, according to “Howard University in the District of Columbia,” a new comprehensive report that provides an overview of the University’s contributions to the District and its steadfast commitment to social impact.

“[The report] demonstrates the university’s critical role in the District and our steadfast commitment to its growth,” said Howard President Wayne A.I. Frederick. “Since its inception in 1867, the university has called the District of Columbia home. Its original founders, who were abolitionists, believed that African Americans deserved to have access to the same educational opportunities that they enjoyed. As such, the university played a significant role in educating former slaves, particularly in the District of Columbia.”

One of the university’s founding members, Sen. Henry Wilson (R-Mass.), who later became vice president of the United States, authored legislation that abolished slavery in the District of Columbia.

Howard University School of Law graduate Charlotte E. Ray was among the first women admitted to the D.C. Bar.

And in response to the growing need for skilled African-American teachers in the mid to late 1800s, Howard partnered with the Institution for the Education of Colored Youth in the District of Columbia, Frederick noted.

To this day, the university continues to play a critical role, he said.

“Howard is a major contributor to the District of Columbia economy: it has more than 9.500 alumni living in D.C., provides free legal services for residents, operates a workforce development program, offers health care services to D.C.’s most vulnerable populations, and its students, faculty and staff participate in numerous service projects around the District, giving several thousand volunteer hours annually,” Frederick said.

“Additionally, many of our graduates have become prominent leaders in the District, developing and implementing public policy,” he said.

To underscore Howard’s economic impact, the report noted that school has almost 500 District-based students and employs more than 1,500 city residents.

In addition to the $800 million the university spends annually, student spending accounts for $26.7 million each year and Howard has an employment impact of more than 5,200 jobs, according to the report.

Further, Howard is the only postsecondary institution in the District that has a middle school offering a comprehensive curriculum for grades six through eight.

The middle school was established in 2005 to create a pipeline of students and close the achievement gap. Students are enrolled from across the District and 43 percent are from Wards 7 and 8 — the two poorest wards in the city, the report notes.

The Graduate School, which was awarded its first doctorate degree in 1958 in the field of chemistry, today offers 28 master’s and 27 doctoral programs and counts among the nation’s largest producers of African-American students who complete doctorate degrees in science, technology and engineering.

“As you will see from the report, Howard University touches every facet of the District of Columbia and has been a longtime partner in helping the District expand and improve services and economic opportunities for its residents,” Frederick said.

To view the full 24-page report, go to

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Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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