Wilberforce University

Est. 1856
Wilberforce, OH

UNCF Member Institution
Transformation Partner since 2016


Motto: “By one's own toil, effort, courage”
Website: wilberforce.edu

We take seriously the invitation to participate in the growth and development of our students as they welcome us into their lives. This is a sacred trust that we strive mightily as a University community to uphold.

Dr. Elfred Anthony Pinkard President, Wilberforce University

Wilberforce University is the nation’s oldest, private historically black university owned and operated by African Americans. Wilberforce University is named after the abolitionist William Wilberforce, who said, “We are too young to realize that certain things are impossible… So, we will do them anyway.” Throughout its history, this institution has demonstrated a formidable spirit of resilience and triumph and has never wavered from its sacred duty to educate and enrich its students.

In collaboration with UNCF’s Institute for Capacity Building, Wilberforce has stayed true to its mission and has been on the cutting edge of transformational change. Wilberforce has made strides in cultivating the entrepreneurial spirit of its students by creating the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Through this program, students meet with mentors twice a month to discuss business goals and strategies, progress in their courses, notably Foundation of Entrepreneurship, budget planning and candid discussions where their mentors share their entrepreneurial journey. 

Additionally, Wilberforce has invested time and resources into redesigning the first-year experience for students with a focus on student engagement and workplace readiness. To achieve this goal,  Wilberforce reached many milestones, including; training sessions created for the Center for Academic Support and Student Success staff, a revamp of the Summer Renaissance Academy Program that was made to help usher students into the institution and a focus on developing coursework that is relevant to building today’s 21st Century Learners. 

An Online Hub for Learning and Community Building

An Online Hub for Learning and Community Building

The United Negro College Fund is launching a new online learning platform where HBCU students and scholars at different institutions across the country can learn and connect.

Anthology Works to Strengthen Network for HBCUs

Anthology Works to Strengthen Network for HBCUs

Supporting student success outcomes requires a culture of data fluency. ICB and Anthology partner on HBCU Data and Analytics Credential.

Black Educators and Leaders Gather in Atlanta for UNCF’s UNITE 2022

Black Educators and Leaders Gather in Atlanta for UNCF’s UNITE 2022

UNCF convened for UNITE 2022, the organization’s summit for students, educators and professional stakeholders at HBCUs.

Coming Together for HBCU Student Success Excellence

Coming Together for HBCU Student Success Excellence

UNCF and InsideTrack partners to help students return to school in the midst of the pandemic. A new case study reveals lessons learned.

Dr. Rochelle Ford Named Next President of Dillard University

Dr. Rochelle Ford Named Next President of Dillard University

Dr. Ford will become the next president of Dillard University, a historically Black university in New Orleans. Ford is currently the dean of Elon University's School of Communications.

Forgotten Leaders – How HBCUs and PBIs Can Amplify Black Women’s Roles in Social Justice Movements

Forgotten Leaders – How HBCUs and PBIs Can Amplify Black Women’s Roles in Social Justice Movements

UNCF’s Executive Leadership Institute gatherings, focused on how HBCUs and PBIs can support women advocates by putting more women in positions of leadership.

Good News for HBCUs

Good News for HBCUs

For decades, Black colleges have been portrayed as deficient. What changed?

HBCU aims to achieve its goal of enrolling 10,000 students well ahead of schedule

HBCU aims to achieve its goal of enrolling 10,000 students well ahead of schedule

Morgan State University has announced historic enrollment figures for a second consecutive year.

HBCU Transformation Project Launched with $60 Million

HBCU Transformation Project Launched with $60 Million

The HBCU Transformation Project aims to increase HBCU health and sustainability, improve student outcomes in retention and graduation rates, expand enrollment, and bolster capacity building with faculty and staff.

ICB and Partners Reflect on Career Pathways Initiative

ICB and Partners Reflect on Career Pathways Initiative

UNCF and partners reflected on the successes of the Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) funded by a $50 million Lilly Endowment investment that helps HBCUs and PBIs strengthen institutional career placement outcomes.

Innovative Partnerships with Community Development Financial Institutions

Innovative Partnerships with Community Development Financial Institutions

CDFIs like Reinvestment Fund are positioned to connect the dots between community partners, financial institutions and policymakers to help drive healthy and equitable communities.

It’s time to uplift Black cities by investing in HBCUs

It’s time to uplift Black cities by investing in HBCUs

If HBCUs are to realize their full potential as a driver of economic and community development, their value and impact must be recognized by the capital markets.