St. Philip’s College was named #4 on the Best Historically Black Colleges & Universities in Texas 2022 list by University Headquarters. SPC, the top two-year institution ranked on the state list, is the nation’s only college federally designated as both an HBCU and Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). The top three Texas HBCUs, by ranking, are Prairie View A&M University, Huston-Tillotson University (Austin) and Texas Southern University (Houston).
HBCUs are an important part of the higher education landscape. These institutions have been around for generations, with some that predate the Civil War. St. Philip’s was founded by the Episcopal Church in 1898 to educate girls who were the daughters and granddaughters of emancipated African Americans.
The college ranked #46 on the national Top 50 Best Historically Black Colleges and Universities list. On the national list, SPC is the highest listed two-year institution.
HBCUs are all excellent educational institutions and many have survived the years of underfunding and segregation. Initially an Episcopal school, SPC went public during the Great Depression when diocesan funding diminished. Under the leadership of Saint Artemisia Bowden, who served at the helm of the institution for 52 years, the school persisted and grew into a community college. She was named a Holy Woman by the Episcopal Church posthumously in 2015 in recognition of her work in education, the church and the community.
St. Philip’s is the only HBCU in San Antonio and the westernmost public HBCU in the U.S.