In 1853, The State Normal School, the founding institution for CCSU, graduated its first African American student, Ebenezer D. Bassett. He would go on to become a noted educator, an influential activist in the anti-slavery movement, and this nation's first African American diplomat as the Minister Resident to Haiti. The University first celebrated Bassett and his historic achievements with presentations and proclamations.
On March 20, 2019, CCSU honored Mr. Bassett by renaming Social Sciences Hall to Ebenezer D. Bassett Hall.
This commemoration has been organized by a committee comprising members of the Art, Anthropology, and History departments, the Office of Student Wellness Services, Center for Africana Studies, and Burritt Library. It is sponsored by the Department of History, Department of Anthropology, Man Enough Support Initiative, Center for Africana Studies, Office of Institutional Advancement, CCSU Alumni Association, and CCSU Foundation, Inc.