The Cheyney University National Alumni Association met for the first time on commencement day in May 1862. The meeting was held in Sansom Hall in Philadelphia where graduation exercises were scheduled. The association proved to be very active during its early years taking on projects of significant social and economic importance. Being acutely aware that education was perhaps the best means at the time to help eradicate prejudice against their race, the members set up a project that involved determining the number, location, and condition of all black schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Ohio. Their purpose was to supply black teachers to schools that needed them. Thus, the first organized attempt at placing graduates was through the efforts of the alumni association.
Over the years, the alumni association has grown and taken on broader responsibilities. In 1970, the association was incorporated and a nonprofit organization known as Cheyney State College General Alumni Association was formed with its purpose being as follows:
To promote the advancement of education by sponsoring, supporting, encouraging, aiding and conduction educational activities of all kinds through scholarship aid to individuals, the granting of funds for the support of research and study; the development of facilities, physical plant, program and administration; purchasing capital equipment, books, libraries, laboratories or other facilities for the purchase, lease, construction or provision of the same in any manner whatsoever.