An auction sign as well as a historical marker stand alongside the sign for Saint Paul’s College in 2014 (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Steve Helber).


Remembering Lost HBCUs: Saint Paul’s College

The Great Recession hit all Americans especially hard, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) did not receive a reprieve from its effects.

The Lawrenceville, Va. campus had served the Black community for over a century, but closed its doors for good in 2013.

Although Saint Paul’s College is still on the forefront of the minds of many who love HBCUs, it is’s duty to keep it there.

It is the duty of the Black community to preserve Black history.

Therefore, Regal Mag’s next installment on “lost” HBCUs focuses on Saint Paul’s College.


  • Saint Paul’s College was founded in 1888 in partnership with the Episcopal Church.

  • Saint Paul’s College terminated its sports programs in an effort to save money in 2011.

  • At the time of the school’s closing, approximately 200 students were enrolled, with 51 students graduating the previous spring semester.

  • A plan to merge Saint Paul’s with Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, N.C. fell through, leading to the college’s demise on June 30, 2013.

  • James Solomon Russell, an ex-slave who eventually became an archdeacon and university-principal emeritus, founded the school.

  • Russell opened the school as Saint Paul’s Normal and Industrial School with 12 students.

  • Saint Paul’s mandate was to train future teachers.  The school produced many of the teachers in Virginia and surrounding states.

  • Many of the students were first generation college students who came from poor families.  Saint Paul’s even offered childcare for parents who were enrolled.

  • Famous Saint Paul’s College alumni include NFL cornerback Greg Toler and Barbara Boyd from the Ohio House of Representatives.

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