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Allen University

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Allen University

Allen University
Historic Coppin Hall
Former names
Payne Institute
Motto We Teach The Mind To Think, The Hands To Work, The Heart To Love
Established 1870
Type Private, HBCU
Affiliation African Methodist Episcopal Church
Endowment $307,322[1]
President Dr. Lady June Cole
Students 600
Location Columbia, South Carolina, United States
Campus Urban
Colors Blue and Gold
Athletics National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
Sports Basketball, Wrestling, Cheerleading, Track, Volleyball
Nickname Yellow Jackets
Affiliations Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Allen University is a private, coeducational historically Black university located in Columbia, South Carolina, United States. Allen University has over 600 students and still serves a predominantly Black constituency. [2]


Allen University was founded in Cokesbury in 1870 as Payne Institute. Its initial mission was to provide education to freed African American slaves. In 1880, it was moved to Columbia and renamed Allen University in honor of Bishop Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The university remains connected to the denomination, which is in the Methodist family of churches. As one of two black colleges located in Columbia, Allen has a very strong presence in the African American community. Allen University initially focused on training ministers and teachers, and over the years has enlarged its scope to produce graduates in other academic areas.


The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to offer bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees through various school.

  • Division of Humanities
    • Department of English
    • Department of Music
  • Division of Social Sciences
  • Division of Mathematics and natural Sciences
    • Department of Biology
    • Department of Chemistry
    • Department of Mathematics
  • Division of Business Administration
  • Division of Religion

In 2010, Washington Monthly reported that the school had a six percent graduation rate in its annual College Guide edition.[3]


Allen University
Chappelle Administration Building
Location 1530 Harden St., Columbia, South Carolina
Built 1891
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 75001705[4]
Added to NRHP April 14, 1975
Buildings such as Arnett Hall, the Chappelle Administration Building, Coppin Hall, the Joseph Simon Flippen Library, and the Canteen Building occupy the Allen University Historic District, listed in 1975 on the National Register of Historic Places.[4][5][6] Several of the district's buildings were restored using $2.9 million in funds obtained through the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Historic Building Restoration and Preservation Act. Chappelle Auditorium's seating capacity of 700 made it home to countless organizations and community events. The auditorium was the site of the meeting that initiated the efforts led to the landmark case Brown vs. the Board of Education. Nationally known musicians and artists, including Leontyne Price, Brooks Benton and Langston Hughes performed in the auditorium. Other notable appearances include: Mary McCloud Bethune, Reverend Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali, Reverend Jesse Jackson, George Elmore, John H. McCray and Senator Strom Thurmond.

Chappelle Auditorium is one of many buildings included in the Allen University Historic District, which is bounded by Taylor, Harden, Hampton and Pine Streets. It was designed by John Anderson Langford (1874-1946), who has been heralded as the 'Dean of Black Architects,’ and served as the official architect of the AME Church. The auditorium was named in honor of Bishop William D. Chappelle, an Allen University President. On April 14, 1975, Chappelle Auditorium was recognized by the U.S. Department of the Interior and placed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.

Student life

Allen University is the home of more than 15 students on-campus organizations.

Academic Organizations/Honor Societies

Civic, Religious and Social Organizations

  • NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)
  • B.A.S.I.C. (Brothers and Sisters In Christ)
  • Global Outreach Campus Ministries
  • Chic Republic
  • Allen University Chorale
  • Gospel Choir
  • Allen University Cheerleaders
  • Groove Phi Groove
  • Students for Positive Change
  • Yellow Jacket CARES
  • Spartan ENT.
  • A.U.I.S.C (Allen University International Student Club)

Leadership and Development Organizations

  • Student Government Association
  • Student Activities Board
  • Allen University Student Ambassadors
  • Pre-Alumni Association
  • Honda Campus All-Star Challenge Team
  • Allen University Chorale
  • Mu Omicron Chi Leadership and Development Fraternity Inc.

National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations

Allen University has eight of the nine national black fraternities and sororities of the National Pan-Hellenic Council present on campus.
Organization Symbol Chapter Chapter Symbol
Alpha Kappa Alpha ΑΚΑ Mu M
Alpha Phi Alpha ΑΦΑ Gamma Gamma ΓΓ
Delta Sigma Theta ΔΣΘ Gamma Pi ΓΠ
Kappa Alpha Psi ΚΑΨ Beta Rho ΒΡ
Omega Psi Phi ΩΨΦ Nu Sigma ΝΣ
Phi Beta Sigma ΦΒΣ Alpha Omicron ΑO
Sigma Gamma Rho ΣΓΡ Beta Iota ΒΙ
Zeta Phi Beta ΖΦΒ Lambda Λ


Allen University teams, nicknamed athletically as the Yellow Jackets, are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing as an Independent of the Association of Independent Institutions (AII). The Yellow Jackets formerly competed in the now-defunct Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (EIAC). Men's sports include basketball; while women's sports include basketball and volleyball.

Notable alumni


  1. ^
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  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links

  • Allen University official website
  • Allen University official athletics website

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