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CCSU Names Building After First African American Graduate

Ebenezer Bassett was Central Connecticut State University's first black graduate back in 1853.

Central Connecticut State University is in the process of naming one of its buildings for a very special alumnus.

The Social Sciences building will soon be named for Ebenezer Bassett.

“This is the first within our CSCU system of having a building named after an African American,” said William Fothergill, Associate Councilor at CCSU. “It took 166 years.”

Bassett was University’s first black graduate back in 1853. Bassett went on to be an educator and then served as the first ever African American diplomat as Ambassador to Haiti under President Ulysses S. Grant.

“A big part of what we’re trying to do is preserve his legacy,” Fothergill said. “Ebenezer Bassett, I would say in a very succinct way, was one of the most distinguished men of the 19th century.’

Although Bassett graduated more than a century ago, the idea of naming a building for him is exciting to the students of today.

“I think that’s really cool. I think that shows we’re moving in the right direction,” said student Sixto Pacheco.

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