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Philander Smith College is a private, historically black college that is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It is located in Little Rockmarker, Arkansasmarker. The student body averages around 850 attendees, with around 30% of that figure attending part time. Although known historically as a school for African Americans, it accepts students of all races. However, the vast majority of its students are black.


Philander Smith College was officially founded in 1877 under the name of Walden Seminary as a means of providing education opportunities for freed slaves west of the Mississippi River. The school was renamed Philander Smith College in 1882 to recognize the financial contributions of Adeline Smith, the widow of Philander Smith. The college was chartered as a four-year college in 1883 and conferred its first bachelor’s degree in 1888. In 1943, Philander Smith was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Philander Smith College was a pioneer during the civil rights movement as many of its students engaged in nonviolent resistance against segregation laws (such as sitting in at "whites-only" lunch counters).

Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough is the 12th and current president of Philander Smith College. Dubbed as the first college president from the hip-hop generation, at 38 he is the youngest HBCU president and one of the youngest college presidents in the nation.

Rankings and Education Conservancy

Kimbrough recently joined the Education Conservancy in its criticism of U.S. News and World Report college rankings by signing a letter circulating among college presidents that asks them not to participate in the peer assessment portion of the survey.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty


External links

  • -- official website

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