@udc_edu @UDCAthletics May 17

My daily post theme for 2017 is on Colleges and Universities.

The plan for starting my blog back in 2014 was at the urging of fellow coaching colleagues to share posts on leadership and/or motivation. Somehow that idea got derailed and turned into daily posts on one theme for an entire year.

In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and for 2017 I will focus on “Colleges and Universities”.

I have been associated with colleges since I was 18 and I love them. I have coached/worked at four different universities and in my professional and personal travels visited 100’s more. Each college has something in its history that I want to share that to me make it unique or personal.

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Name of University: University of District of Columbia (UDC)

Location: Washington DC

On Sunday my wife and I were driving back to North Carolina from Pennsylvania and decided to visit the Farmer’s Market located on DuPont Circle in Washington D.C. We had spent Saturday night in Bethesda MD and took the Metro Red Line from our hotel to DuPont Circle. On the route my wife asked about University of DC that was a stop on the way.


I could not answer my wife’s questions about the university’s  history other than to tell her since it is a federal university it had to be complicated and interesting. I found out it was both. I also mentioned that the Director of Athletics there Pat Thomas and I had served on NCAA Division II Management Council together and she was an excellent leader.

pat thomas

UDC campus is shown below.


The University of the District of Columbia has a proud history. Public higher education for the District originated in 1851 when Myrtilla Miner founded a “school for colored girls” in Washington, DC. In 1879, Miner Normal School joined the DC public school system.

Myrtilla Miner


Similarly, Washington Normal School was established in 1873, as a school for white girls. The latter institution was renamed Wilson Normal School in 1913, after James O. Wilson, Washington’s first superintendent of public schools.

In 1929, Congress enacted a statute that converted both normal schools into four-year teachers colleges. For several years, Miner Teachers College and Wilson Teachers College were the only institutions of public higher education in the city. After the landmark US Supreme Court school desegregation decision, Brown v. Board of Education (US 1954), the two colleges merged in 1955 to form the District of Columbia Teachers College.

Congress enacted the District of Columbia Public Education Act (Public Law 89-791) in 1966. The legislation established two schools: Federal City College, a liberal arts school, whose Board of Higher Education was appointed by the Mayor of the District of Columbia, and Washington Technical Institute, a vocational-technical training school, whose Board of Vocational Education was appointed by the President of the United States. Both institutions had the mission to solve community needs through higher education.

Although the schools were still very new, many Washingtonians continued to advocate for a comprehensive university. In 1969, the District of Columbia Teachers College, the city’s oldest teacher training school, was placed under the jurisdiction of the Board of Higher Education. In 1974, the Board established a joint administrative support system and placed the District of Columbia Teachers College and Federal City College under a single president.

After Congress granted limited home rule to the District of Columbia, the new city council passed D.C. Law 1-36, which authorized the consolidation of the three schools in 1975. A new UDC Board of Trustees took office in May 1976, consisting of 11 members appointed by the Mayor, three appointed by the alumni associations. Thus began the monumental task of creating a new University of the District of Columbia from three very different institutions.

In 1977, under President Carter’s leadership, UDC began consolidating its academic programs. These efforts culminated in the establishment of five colleges of Business and Public Management; Education and Human Ecology; Liberal and Fine Arts; Life Sciences; Physical Science, Engineering and Technology; University College, and Continuing Education.




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