Guess Which Celebs Went to HBCUs

ESSENCE.COM Oct, 05, 2015

Lance Gross recently posted a photo of Howard University’s gymnasium, ‘The Burr,’ to his Instagram to show pride for his alma mater, Howard University. Gross is one of countless celebrities to graduate from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Take a look at 20 famous HBCU alums.

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Alma Mater: Howard University
Graduated: 2004
Major: Theater Arts
Gross recently attended Howard to celebrate the first annual Toyota Green Initiative HBCU Tour, designed to encourage and promote the benefits of living a sustainable lifestyle.

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Alma Mater: Howard University
Graduated: 1995
Major: Theater Arts
Academy Award-nominated Actress Taraji P. Henson was named as the Homecoming Ambassador and Grand Marshal in 2009.

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Alma Mater: Tennessee State University
Graduated: 1973 
Major: Speech and Performing Arts
The same year Oprah graduated from TSU, she became the first black TV news anchor reporter with WTVF-TV. The Oprah Winfrey Show debuted in 1986 and the rest is history.

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Alma Mater: North Carolina A&T University
Terrence J is a notable TV and radio host who got his start at A&T's radio station in Greensboro, North Carolina. He's also a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.

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Alma Mater: Grambling State University
Graduated: Left in 1993 to pursue music
Major: Performing Arts
During Badu’s time at Grambling the singer was voted Miss Theatre Guild.

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Alma Mater: Howard University
Major: Drama
Robinson who graduated cum laude, has admitted that some of her best relationships in her life were formed at Howard University.

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Alma Mater: Morehouse College
Graduated: 1979
Major: Mass Communication
While attending Morehouse, Spike also took film courses at Clark Atlanta University. He went on to get a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television from NYU.

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Alma Mater: Howard University
Graduated: Left in 1990
Major: Business Administration
While attending school, Diddy ran a shuttle service to the airport, promoted concerts as well as parties, and sold T-shirts and sodas. He gave an inspiring commencement address at Howard during the 2014 graduation ceremony. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

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Alma Mater: Florida A&M University
Major: Business Administration
Hailing from Chicago, Common credits his time in Florida for exposing him to southern style hip-hop.

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Alma Mater: Morehouse College
Graduated: 1972
Major: Marine Biology, later switched to Performing Arts.
In 1969, Jackson was charged with a felony for holding members of the Morehouse College board of trustees hostage on the campus, demanding reform in the school's curriculum and governance.

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Alma Mater: Spelman University
Graduated: 2001
Major: Sociology
While attending Spelman, Pulliam aka Rudy Huxtable, was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

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Jackson's birthday is right around the corner, dawg. The producer and television personality's birthday is June 23.

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Alma Mater: Hampton University
Graduated: 1986
Major: Marketing
After graduating, Sykes transitioned to an unfulfilling job in government security before throwing caution to the wind and becoming a comedian.

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Alma Mater: Texas Southern University
Graduated: Left in 1983
Major: Radio/TV/Communications
After graduating with a mass communicaitons degree, Adams ended up working as a school teacher. She left her job as a teacher to pursue gospel music. She's now the host of The Yolanda Adams Morning Show.

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Alma Mater: Howard University
Graduated: 1953
Major: English
In 1957 Morrison returned to Howard University as a member of faculty during the civil rights movement.

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Alma Mater: Southern University
Major: Business
After graduating from Southern University, Banner went on to attend the graduate business program at University of Maryland.

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Alma Mater: Howard University
Graduated: 1970
Major: Fine Arts
In 2009, Rashad was appointed Charter Day speaker and addressed the students at Howard University for the annual founder day.

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Alma Mater: Howard University
Graduated: 1971
Major: Theater, classical Greek literature, and speech
Allen used her college experiences at Howard as inspiration for the production and direction of the TV show A Different World.

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Alma Mater: North Carolina A&T
Graduated: 1965
Major: Sociology
Jackson was a college athlete, excelling in baseball and football before deciding to shift his focus full time on the civil rights movement.

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Alma Mater:Fisk University
Knowles earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He is, of course, best known as the father and former manager of Beyoncé Knowles.