Division of Institutional Advancement
Fanny Jackson Coppin Monument Campaign
Fanny Jackson Coppin Monument
The Fanny Jackson Coppin Statue was unveiled on Friday, February 11, 2022. While the campaign to raise funds for the monument has come to an end, the effort to raise funds for the Fanny Jackson Coppin Scholarship continues. Help us to continue the legacy and support the scholarship today.
Love wins when everything else will fail.
- Fanny Jackson Coppin
Support the Fanny Jackson Coppin Scholarship
The campaign to raise funds for the Fanny Jackson Coppin Scholarship continues. Help us to continue the legacy and support the scholarship today.
Who is Fanny Jackson Coppin?
A teacher, principal, lecturer, missionary to Africa, political activist, and warrior against oppression, Fanny Jackson Coppin conquered overwhelming obstacles and became an educator who lifted up generations of African-Americans.
Freed from slavery as a child, Coppin believed in the power of education to lift up African-Americans. She dedicated her life to this mission. In 1865, she became one of the first African-American women in the nation to earn a college degree (Oberlin College in Ohio). While at Oberlin, Coppin established a special school with evening classes to teach freed slaves. In 1869, Coppin became the nation’s first African-American woman to be appointed a school principal while at the Institute for Colored Youth (ICY) in Philadelphia (the forerunner of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania). A few years later, she was promoted by the Philadelphia Board of Education to superintendent, becoming the nation’s first African-American superintendent of a school district.
During her 37 years at the Institute, Coppin was responsible for expanding its curriculum significantly, recognizing that African-Americans were being excluded from higher-paying technical and industrial jobs.
In 1881 she married the Reverend Levi Coppin, pastor of Baltimore’s Bethel A.M.E. Church, and together they were a driving force in Black America. She accompanied her husband, who had become a bishop to Cape Town, South Africa, where she was a missionary, counseling African women. She died in 1913 at age 76.
Fanny Jackson Coppin is the namesake for Coppin State University. In 1926, the Baltimore Normal Department of the Colored High and Training School were permitted to change their name to Fanny Jackson Coppin Normal School. In 1939, the name was changed to Coppin Teachers College, eventually becoming Coppin State University in 2004.