Notable Alumni

Name Class year Notability
Julian Abele ca. 1896 [1] Graduate of the Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheyney University) was a prominent African-American architect. Upon Abele's graduation in 1902 as the first black student in architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, Abele designed or contributed to the design of some 250 buildings, including Harvard’s Widener Memorial Library, Duke University, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Free Library, and many Gilded Age mansions in Newport and New York City.
Robert Bogle 1973 President/CEO of The Philadelphia Tribune, the oldest black newspaper in circulation today
Ed Bradley   Former CBS News journalist of the program 60 Minutes
Octavius Catto 1858 Catto was the class valedictorian in 1858 at the Institute for Colored Youth (later Cheyney University). An activist, Catto was influential in getting the 15th Amendment passed in 1870 which gave black men the right to vote. Catto is also the founder of the first black baseball team in the United States (The Pythians, 1867) and the Equal Rights League (Oct. 1864).
Rebecca J. Cole 1863 Graduated from the Institute for Colored Youth in 1863 (now Cheyney University). She graduated from Women's Medical College (now the Medical College of Pennsylvania) in 1867 with a medical degree. Cole was the second African-American woman physician in the United States and the first black woman to graduate from the Women's Medical College.
Ronald S. Coleman   Lieutenant General, Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs for the United States Marine Corps
Michael Horsey   State Representative for the 190th district in Philadelphia County
Gladys Styles Johnston   Chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Kearney
Thaddeus Kirkland   State Representative for the 159th district in Delaware County
Joseph E. Lee   He graduated from the Institute for Colored Youth (presently Cheyney University) in the early 1860s and graduated from Howard University in law, 1873. He was admitted to the Florida bar that year and was one of the first blacks to practice in Florida. He was a member of the Florida House from 1875-1880 and the Florida Senate from 1881-82. [2]
Randy Monroe   Current head coach of University of Maryland, Baltimore County men's basketball
Samuel J. Patterson   CEO of Shepard Patterson Systems and Information Consulting Firm
Bayard Rustin   African-American civil rights activist
Josephine Silone Yates   African American writer, teacher, and civil rights advocate
Joseph M. Segars   Retired Ambassador
Robert Traynham 1996 Television Personality
Jim Vance 1964 Emmy Award-winning anchorman. Vance was inducted into the Journalists Hall of Fame.
Andre Waters 1984 Former NFL player
James "Big Cat" Williams   Former Chicago Bears player. He was a Pro Bowl offensive lineman. He had a 12-year career with the Bears.
Robert L. Woodson   Founder and president of the National left for Neighborhood Enterprise (NCNE), Washington, D.C.
Jim Ellis 1972 The inspiration behind the hit Hollywood movie Pride starring Terence Howard and Bernie Mac
Martha A. Fairbeau (Minton) 1859 1st female graduate
Craig Welbourn 1971 His company owns and operates 28 McDonalds restaurants, making it the largest African American owned/owner of these restaurants in the world and puts him in the top one percent of all McDonalds owners
Marcus Foster 1947 Was a charismatic and highly esteemed African-American educator who gained a national reputation for educational excellence while serving as principal of Gratz High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as Associate Superintendent of Schools in Philadelphia, and as the first black Superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District in Oakland, California
William "Billy" Joe 1970 Coach Joe won 237 career games in 31 years of coaching at Cheyney (1972-1978), Central State of Ohio and FAMU, trailing only legendary Eddie Robinson of Grambling State in black-college football wins (408). He was the Pennsylvania State Conference Coach of the Year in 1978. Coach Joe was also the running backs coach for the Philadelphia Eagles (1979-80). He helped mentor the Eagles to the 1980 Super Bowl. Coach Joe was also AFL Rookie of the Year with the Denver Broncos in 1963, and he a was member of New York Jets' Super Bowl winning team (1969)
Dave Warren 1986 Talk Radio host and social satirist