Rate this HBCU Day 48: Meharry Medical College

How would you rate Meharry Medical College?

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Space is the Place
Jan 23, 2016
Figthing borg at Wolf 359

We last covered the mighty Spartans of Norfolk State University who received an average score of 8.

See the updated leaderboard here

Meharry Medical College is a graduate-only HBCU focused on medicine and the health sciences. It was the first HBCU to have this focus and only one of two currently (Morehouse School of Medicine is the other).

Meharry was the first medical school for Blacks established in the South. It was first the medical school of the now defunct HBCU Central Tennessee College (later Walden College) which folded in 1925. Ten years earlier, however, in 1915, Meharry had already received its own charter and become a separate institution. Meharry is named for the Irish immigrant businessman Samuel Meharry. According to the story, he was given vital aid early in his time in America by a family of Freedman before the Civil War and he vowed to repay them or their race. He later donated the funds to found the medical school. It rapidly trained Black physicians and attracted them as instructors. By the 1880s, alomst all of the instructing physicians at Meharry were Black.

Meharry added a dental school in 1886, a pharmacy school in 1889, and a nursing school in 1910 (though it closed in 1960). From its earliest times, Meharry had a special focus on the health of the Black community. Its first students went to the poor Black neighborhoods of Nashville and later as its research resources grew, it performed more ambitious projects such as revolutionizing and improving the treatment options for premature Black newborns in the South, most of whom died before their first birthday prior to the 1950s.

Meharry is also notable for its tireless drive to educate Black doctors even under the most adverse circumstances, as related in an article about its history:

The early years of Meharry were lean. A few teachers taught all the subjects and classroom space was inadequate. When the weather permitted, classes were held out-of-doors, sometimes beneath the boughs of a large shade tree. Students were poorly prepared for the study of medicine and often, introductory material taught was at the elementary and high school level. Almost no opportunity existed for obtaining clinical experience because no hospital would open its doors to Meharry students and Meharry could not afford a hospital of its own. In 1900, Dr. Robert F. Boyd, an alumnus of Meharry Medical College, established Mercy Hospital, a 23 bed hospital in South Nashville.
Hansen, A.C., 1973. Meharry Medical College in retrospect. Journal of the National Medical Association, 65(4), p.274.







Image Source: Parham, Sandra (2021). Meharry Medical College. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing


Founded: 1876

City, State: Nashville, TN

Type: 4-year, Private not-for-profit (Masters, PhD, MD only)

Nickname: N/A

Enrollment and percent Black enrollment: 964 students, 87% Black

Part-time student percentage: 0%

First Generation Student Percentage: N/A

Percentage of students from households under $30k/over $100k: N/A

Out of State Percentage: N/A

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: N/A

Admissions Acceptance Rate: N/A

4-yr/6-yr graduation rates: N/A

Transfer out rate: N/A

Male/Female percentages (Female:Male Ratio): 37% male/ 63% female (1.7:1)

Tuition: $28k

Median Federal Debt After Graduation: N/A

Median Parent PLUS Loans After Graduation: N/A

Median Earning 10-Years after 10 years from freshman year: N/A

Median Earnings for specific majors after 3 years after graduation:

Top Majors by Degrees:
Medicine, Dentistry, Masters Public Health

Endowment: ~$159M (including $20M from MacKenzie Scott)

Alumni Engagement: N/A

Athletic Conference: N/A

Mascot: N/A

Notable Alumni:

John Henry Hale - teacher at Meharry Medical College for 29 years; reportedly performed over 30,000 surgeries

Audrey Manley - former acting surgeon general and former president of Spelman College

Robert Lee - expatriate to Ghana in the 1960s and its first Black dentist

Louis Pendleton - prominent Shreveport physician and civil rights activist

Walter Tucker - former mayor of Compton

Main Campus



The Cal Turner Family Center - For Student Education


New Living and Learning Center (under construction)

@ab.aspectus @Originalman @#1 pick @Ziggiy @SupaVillain @Tug life @Idaeo @get these nets @MostReal @Bryan Danielson @Rollie Forbes @Willie Lump Lump @staticshock @Charlie Hustle @BigAggieLean. @Optimus Prime @How Sway? @DropTopDoc @Anerdyblackguy
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Gotta learn how to kill a nikka from the inside
Oct 19, 2015
An absolutely great institution that needs more resources and expansion. So many of our doctors come Meharry orHoward medical school. I would venture to say Meharry is the biggest black saving institution in the country.

Kyle C. Barker

Migos VERZUZ Mahalia Jackson
Feb 5, 2015

get these nets

Jul 8, 2017
Above the fray.

Meharry Medical College Launches Nation’s First School of Global Health​

Board of Trustees unanimously approves new school that will create a new generation of health equity leaders dedicated to solving complex global health challenges through multiple disciplines
School of Global Health at Meharry to be shaped by founding board of advisors comprised of renowned experts in clinical care and research, business, communications, mental health, global health, public health and public policy

NASHVILLE, Tenn., November 13, 2023--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Meharry Medical College is advancing its work to eliminate global health inequities by establishing the first School of Global Health in the United States. Dr. James Hildreth, president and CEO of Meharry, and Daniel Dawes, JD, DHL, senior vice president and executive director of the Meharry Institute of Global Health Equity, made the announcement on the first day of the American Public Health Association's 2023 Annual Meeting and Expo in Atlanta.

The School of Global Health at Meharry will foster collaboration among emerging health leaders, allowing them to strategize beyond conventional boundaries to protect vulnerable, underserved and under-resourced communities around the world. Meharry has begun the process to recruit faculty, engage partners and secure accreditation for the School of Global Health, and anticipates beginning to enroll students in the fall of 2024.

The School is an outgrowth of the Institute of Global Health Equity, which Meharry launched in February of 2023. The Meharry Board of Trustees unanimously approved Meharry establishing the School of Global Health at a meeting in October. Meharry also announced members of the School’s Founding Board of Advisors, which is made up of experts from across industries, including two former surgeon generals of the United States. Members of the Founding Board of Advisors will work together to ensure the School of Global Health is a competitive and innovative institution for future students and entrepreneurs.
"As we establish our School of Global Health we are working diligently to take a multidisciplinary approach and bring together world-class experts, researchers and educators with a shared commitment to make global health inequities history," said Dawes. "As founding dean, my goal is to actualize, operationalize and optimize equitable solutions and responses to our most complex health issues. And with the support and guidance of this brilliant group of health equity experts and champions on our founding advisory board, we are confident that their expertise will help us achieve new heights."
The creation of the School of Global Health at Meharry fills an important gap in the global healthcare continuum as it will be taking a new and more holistic approach to global health. Presently, global public health education tends to focus on population-wide interventions. The School of Global Health will take a multidisciplinary and multisectoral approach to health and economic improvement.

The Institute for Global Health Equity and its founding advisory board have established four initial areas of focus for Meharry’s School of Global Health:

  • Political determinants of health
  • Mental health
  • Population health
  • Health communications