University of the District of Columbia

University of the District of Columbia
University of the District of Columbia
Established 1851 (1851)
Type Public, land grant, HBCU
Endowment $21.8 million
Chairman Joseph L. Askew, Jr., Esq.
President Allen L. Sessoms [1]
Provost Graeme Baxter, J.D.
Undergraduates 5,137
Postgraduates 234
Location Washington, DC,
United States
Campus Urban
Colors Red and Gold
Athletics NCAA Division II
Sports basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, volleyball
Nickname Firebirds
Affiliations Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is a historically black, public [[university[[ located in Washington, D.C. UDC is one of only a few urban land-grant universities in the country and a member of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund. It is also the only public university in the District of Columbia.



The Normal School for Colored Girls was established in 1851 and by 1879, the name was changed to "Miner Normal School". Washington Normal School was established in 1873 for girls, and renamed the "Wilson Normal School" in 1913. In 1929, the United States Congress made both schools four-year teachers' colleges and renamed as "Miner Teachers College" for African Americans and "Wilson Teachers College" for whites. In 1955, the two schools merged and were renamed the "District of Columbia Teachers College".

In 1967, Congress awarded the University of the District of Columbia land-grant status and a $7.24 million endowment (USD), in lieu of a land grant.

Beginning with the 2009-10 academic year, UDC's programs were split into two separate institutions under an umbrella "University System." A new Community College of the District of Columbia (CCDC) assumed UDC's Associate Degree, Certificate, Continuing Education and Workforce Development programs with UDC going forward with just its bachelor and graduate degree programs. While CCDC will maintain an open enrollment policy, a high school diploma no longer guarantees admission into UDC.[2] These changes were in response to UDC's low graduation rate, where only 7.9% of students complete their degrees within 6 years.[3]


UDC offers over 175 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The Division of Community Outreach and Extension Services (COES) offers a variety of practical, nonacademic educational programs and training.

UDC Guard Force

UDC has its own guard force who are responsible for guarding and protecting university property, staff, faculty and students. The guard force works 24/7 and utilizes the catchy phrase "We are here for you!" which is printed in the sides of all vehicles belonging to the guard force. The guard force are commissioned as District of Columbia Special Policemen and carry .38 revolvers, handcuffs and flashlights in order to accomplish their mission.

Schools and colleges

International programs

A 1996 academic partnership with the Modern Academy In Maadi, in Maadi, a southern suburb of Cairo, Egypt, encourages the material, physical, and intellectual growth of students, faculty, and staff of both institutions through Cairo-based UDC Bachelor degrees, Computer Science and Business Administration management programs. In July 2001, the partnership included Accounting and Finance options in Business, Computer Engineering and Information Technology and Electronic Engineering and Communication Technology and graduate studies in Business Administration (MBA).[4]

The UDC's adult education department had a collegial relationship with the University of Nairobi for several years, including faculty exchange and doctoral student sponsoring.


The main (Van Ness) campus of UDC is located at Connecticut Avenue and Van Ness St. in Northwest Washington, DC. UDC is primarily a commuter school and opened its first residential accommodations or dormitories in August 2010 by leasing an apartment building across the street from its campus.[3] UDC plans to open a new residence hall on its main campus by 2012 that could house as many as 300 students.[3] A new $40 million student center is expected to open in 2012.[3]

Student activities


The athletic teams are called the Firebirds and the team colors are Red and Gold. The school competes in the NCAA Division II.

Greek- letter organizations

National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations:

Non-NPHC organizations:

Student media

UDC publishes The Trilogy, a student-paper highlighting campus events and national and local news. The Flightpath yearbook focuses on graduating students and the years' activities.


UDC Cable Television, Channel 19, is the District Government's non-commercial, adult education program service.

UDC Cable TV 98 supports teaching, research and public service with Educational-access television and instructional programming. Cable TV 98 operates an audio and video recording service center, electronic field and studio production and a video training center for Public-access television production.[5]

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability References
Denis G. Antoine Ambassador of Grenada to the United States of America and (permanent) representative to the Organization of American States (OAS) [6]
Gloria Green-Ridley the first African American to receive the James Davenport Memorial Award (2005). [6]
Thelma Thompson president of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore [6]
Clarence Holbert designed the currency of Eritrea [6]
Richard Pennington 1988 Chief of Police Atlanta, Georgia [6]
Melvin R. Wright Associate Judge, Superior Court of the District of Columbia [6]
Robert P. Owens Federal Immigration Judge [6]
Norma Holloway Johnson 1955 Former United States federal judge who ruled on Kenneth Starr's probe of the Clinton administration.
Lennox Yearwood 1998 President of the Hip Hop Caucus
Kali Troy Voice over actress
Aldon Lynn Nielsen Poet
Cathy L. Lanier Chief of Police with the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia
Branislav Andjelić 1991 Serbian Internet pioneer, economist and politician
Lyn McLain Cofounder of the DC Youth Orchestra Program
Carolyn Harris 1969 Library conservationist
Rasheim Wright Jordanian basketball player.

See also

Portal icon District of Columbia portal
Portal icon University portal
Portal icon African American portal


  1. ^ "U.D.C. President". University of the District of Columbia. 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  2. ^ "About CCDC". UDC. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  3. ^ a b c d Johnson, Jenna (August 30, 2010). "The right spot for a UDC student to live". Washington Post: p. B1. 
  4. ^ "U.D.C. Programs". University of the District of Columbia. 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  5. ^ "U.D.C. Cable T.V. Channel 8". University of the District of Columbia. 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-15. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "U.D.C. Success Stories". The Welcome Center. University of the District of Columbia. 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 

External links

Coordinates: 38°56′38.2″N 77°3′55.2″W / 38.943944°N 77.065333°W / 38.943944; -77.065333

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