Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




John R. Thelin


The goal of this study was to explore the beginnings of higher education for freed slaves after the Civil War as reflected in the development of the built environment of one of the earliest and most prominent of the historically Black colleges, Hampton Institute. The main purpose was to study the way in which campus planning was implemented at Hampton, its intentions and effects. The study had three hypotheses: (1) a master plan for the development of the campus of Hampton Institute was created by its founder, (2) this master plan was followed by the administration and builders during the early stages of the school's development and (3) the founder of Hampton Institute was aware of the symbolism of the architecture and used it intentionally to create a sense of specialness and to inspire strong attachment among the students of the school.;The study of numerous original documents available in the Hampton University Archives revealed answers to these questions. First, there is ample evidence that a master plan did exist for the development of Hampton's campus and that it was, to a large degree followed. The architectural intentions of Hampton's principal revealed a great deal about the beginnings of Negro education and the controversy which existed concerning the type of education which was best suited to the needs of Blacks. They also reflect the unique mission of the early Black schools. Hampton was the model for many schools which espoused one view of the type of education which would best prepare Blacks to take their place in post war society and, therefore, was an appropriate subject for this study.;The study also revealed certain common characteristics which, when present, produce coherent, consistent campus planning. This information is important for present day administrators trying to promote effective decision making regarding campus growth.;The extension of this study to include other prominent Black schools would provide valuable insights into the evolution of higher education for Blacks. These schools were shaped by their unique mission which was in turn shaped by the unique educational needs of the group they were founded to serve.



© The Author