Duval County

Jacksonville Turns 200: Edward Waters College founded

In 1866, Edward Waters College was founded. It was the first college for African-Americans in Florida.


“Edward Waters was a project of the African Methodist Episcopal Church,” Dr. David Jamison with Edward Waters University said. “It was a teacher college and the idea is if we can train people to teach, then that will sort of start the next generation of the Black community here in Jacksonville. So they were going to educate these people who would have been educated if it had been legal.”

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After seeing student numbers decline after gains in the Civil Rights era, the college got creative and innovative, adding new programs and degrees and becoming Edward Waters University on June 30, 2021.

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