School: Fisk University

Location: Nashville, TN

Founded: 1866

In 1930, Fisk was the first African-American institution to gain accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and accreditation for specialized programs quickly followed. In 1952, they were the first predominantly black college to earn a chapter of the academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa. The 40 acre campus is also a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Nikki Giovanni, the acclaimed poet and activist, is just one of many notable alumni.