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February Twenty...

Destination Preeminence: Aggies DO!

Topics: African Americans, Civil Rights, Education, Human Rights, Women's Rights

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is an academic community focused on students—providing them with interdisciplinary learning opportunities, teaching them with faculty renowned for excellence, connecting them to cutting edge discoveries in research, and encouraging them to serve their communities.

We were founded in 1891 as a land-grant institution, and we've built a strong civil rights legacy along the way. The Greensboro Four—who staged the first ever sit-in at a Woolworth lunch counter in 1960—were NC A&T students.

We strive for excellence and innovation in our curriculum, promote partnerships with public and private entities, and foster a learning environment that focuses less on transmitting information and more on the ability to organize, assess, apply, and create knowledge.

Our campus sits on 200 beautiful acres in Greensboro, NC, and includes a 600-acre university farm. Our enrollment is more than 10,000 students and our workforce includes more than 2,000 employees.

From our roots as an 1890 land-grant university, we have expanded and adapted to become a school fit for the 21st century and beyond.

N.C. A&T still has award-winning faculty, intensive research programs and community-focused initiatives — but now our campus is more diverse, our curriculum includes nanoengineering and our idea of public service encompasses not only Greensboro, but the world.

We believe in the power of our students to solve problems, both local and global, through technology, business, engineering, the arts and other endeavors. We believe that through exemplary instruction and interdisciplinary studies, through scholarly and creative research, and through courage and community service, N.C. A&T prepares students to enhance the quality of life for themselves, the citizens of North Carolina, the nation, and the world.

North Carolina Central University

In 1910, Dr. James E. Shepard, a Durham pharmacist and religious educator, opened the National Religious Training School and Chautauqua for the Colored Race and declared its purpose to be “the development in young men and women of the character and sound academic training requisite for real service to the nation.”

The institution struggled financially in its early years. In 1915, it was sold and reorganized, then becoming the National Training School. In 1923, the state legislature appropriated funds to buy the school and renamed it the Durham State Normal School. Two years later, the legislature converted the institution into the North Carolina College for Negroes, dedicating it to liberal arts education and the preparation of teachers and principals. The college thus became the nation’s first state-supported liberal arts college for black students.

In 1939, the college offered its first graduate-level courses in the arts and sciences. The School of Law opened in 1940, followed in 1941 by the School of Library Science. In 1947, the legislature changed the name to North Carolina College at Durham. Shepard served as president until his death in 1947. Dr. Alfonso Elder was installed in 1948 as his successor.

North Carolina College at Durham became North Carolina Central University in 1969. On July 1, 1972, all the state’s public four-year colleges and universities were joined to become the Consolidated University of North Carolina. As part of the transition, the chief executive’s title changed from president to chancellor.

Dr. Albert N. Whiting presided over the transition, leading the university from 1967 until 1983. He was succeeded by Dr. LeRoy T. Walker, vice chancellor for university relations and an internationally renowned track and field coach. Dr. Tyronza R. Richmond succeeded Walker in 1986; Richmond’s tenure saw the establishment of the School of Education.

Oakwood University

The mission of Oakwood University, a historically black, Seventh-day Adventist institution, is to transform students through biblically-based education for service to God and humanity.

Oakwood University, in Huntsville, Ala., was founded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) in 1896 to educate the recently-freed African-Americans of the South. Drawing upon its Christian faith and the emancipation of slaves by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, it believed that “all people are created equal” and deserved the opportunity to learn a trade.

Originally, the school was called “Oakwood Industrial School,” opening its doors November 16, with 16 students. A year earlier, the 380-acre former slave plantation was purchased for $6,700. Its towering oak trees – which gave way to the name “Oakwood” – dotted the early residence of America’s most famous slave, Dred Scott. Additional land was acquired in 1918, nearly tripling the campus size to its current 1,186 acres.

Paine College

Paine College was founded by the leadership of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, now United Methodist Church, and the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, now Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Paine was the brainchild of Bishop Lucius Henry Holsey, who first expressed the idea for the College in 1869. Bishop Holsey asked leaders in the ME Church South to help establish a school to train Negro teachers and preachers so that they might in turn appropriately address the educational and spiritual needs of the people newly freed from the evils of slavery. Leaders in the ME Church South agreed, and Paine Institute came into being.

On November 1, 1882, the Paine College Board of Trustees, consisting of six members, three from each Church, met for the first time. They agreed to name the school in honor of the late Bishop Robert Paine of the MECS who had helped to organize the CME Church. In December, the Trustees selected Dr. Morgan Callaway as the first President of the College and enlarged the Board from six to nineteen members, drawing its new membership from communities outside of Georgia so that the enterprise might not be viewed as exclusively local.

Bishop Holsey traveled throughout the Southeast seeking funds for the new school. On December 12, 1882, he presented the Trustees of Paine Institute with $7.15 from the Virginia Conference and $8.85 from the South Georgia Conference. In that same month, Reverend Atticus Haygood, a minister of the ME Church South, gave $2,000 to support President Callaway through the first year. Thus, a $2,000 gift from a white minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church South and $16 raised by a CME minister – penny by penny from former slaves - became the financial basis for the founding of Paine College.
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