About Charter Day
Charter Day is a time-honored tradition commemorating the signing of the federal charter on March 2, 1867, by President Andrew Johnson establishing Howard as a university. Howard was founded by Civil War hero General Oliver O. Howard. The main campus is home to 256 acres of land across the District of Columbia and Maryland. With our Main Campus located in northwest DC, the School of Law, School of Divinity, and Howard's research facility each have dedicated campuses nearby.
As a private research university, Howard University today has awarded more than 100,000 degrees in the professions, arts, sciences and humanities. The University is comprised of 14 schools and colleges, where students pursue 143 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.
Charter Day Convocation
Charter Day Convocation commemorates the signing of the federal charter on March 2, 1867, by President Andrew Johnson establishing Howard as a university. A renowned orator serves as guest speaker as hundreds of faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees and special guests fill Cramton Auditorium for the ceremony. Charter Day Convocation is open to the public.
Charter Day Dinner
2024 marks the 100th Charter Day Dinner! A festive occasion that celebrates successes and recognizes achievements, the event features a nationally recognized emcee and renowned entertainment. Howard’s founding is celebrated, and distinguished alumni and honorees are highlighted for their achievements and contributions to Howard and the community. The dinner is by subscription, as proceeds support student scholarships.