Norfolk State University
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Norfolk State University
Norfolk State University
Norfolk State University Seal.png
Former names
Norfolk State Unit of Virginia
Union University
Norfolk Polytechnic College
Virginia State College
Norfolk State College
Motto "We see the future in you."
Type Public, HBCU
Established 1935 (1935)
Academic affiliation
U.S. Census Bureau
Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund
Endowment $23 million
President Dr. Melvin T. Stith Sr., Interim
Provost Dr. Leroy Hamilton Jr., Interim
Academic staff
Undergraduates 6,200
Postgraduates 835
Location Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.
36°50?55?N 76°15?45?W / 36.8487°N 76.2625°W / 36.8487; -76.2625Coordinates: 36°50?55?N 76°15?45?W / 36.8487°N 76.2625°W / 36.8487; -76.2625
Campus Urban, 134 acres (0.5 km2)
Colors Green and Gold[1]
Athletics NCAA Division I - MEAC
Nickname Spartans
Affiliations TMCF

Norfolk State University (NSU) is a public four-year, coed, liberal arts, historically black university located in Norfolk, Virginia. The university is a member-school of Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Virginia High-Tech Partnership.


The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has accredited Norfolk State to award associate, baccalaureate, master and doctoral degrees.[2] Currently, Norfolk State offers two doctorate and 15 master's degrees, including master's degree programs in Electronic Engineering, Computer Science, and Criminal Justice. The school also offers 36 undergraduate degrees, including the only bachelor's degree in Optical Engineering in Virginia.[3]


Norfolk State's undergraduate and graduate programs are divided into eight schools/colleges.[4]

  • School of Business
  • School of Education
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • College of Engineering, Science & Technology
  • School of Social Work
  • School of Extended Learning
  • Honors College
  • Graduate School


Directors and Presidents of Norfolk State University
Samuel Fischer Scott Director 1935-1938
Lyman Beecher Brooks Director 1938-1963
Provost 1963-1969
President 1969-1975
Harrison Wilson, Jr. President 1975-1997
Marie McDemmond President 1997-2005
Alvin J. Schexnider Interim President 2005-2006
Carolyn Meyers President 2006-2010
Tony Atwater President 2011-2013
Sandra DeLoatch Acting President & Provost 2013
Eddie N. Moore Jr. Interim President & CEO 2013-2016
President 2016-2017
Melvin Stith Interim President 2018-

The institution was founded on September 18, 1935 as the Norfolk Unit of Virginia State University.[5] Eighty-five students attended the first classes held in 1935. Mr. Samuel Fischer Scott, an alumnus of Virginia Union and Portsmouth native, served as the first director with the primary focus of maintaining the solvency of the school. Dr. Lyman Beecher Brooks, a Virginia Union alumnus, succeeded Mr. Scott as director in 1938, and served as provost, 1963-1969, and the first president 1969-1975.

In 1942, the school became independent of VSU and was named Norfolk Polytechnic College.[5] Within two years, by an act of the Virginia Legislature, it became a part of Virginia State College (now Virginia State University).[5] By 1950, the 15th anniversary of the college founding, the faculty had grown to fifty and the student enrollment to 1,018. In 1952, the college's athletic teams adopted the "Spartan" name and identity.

The City of Norfolk provided a permanent site for the college on Corprew Avenue, and in 1955 Brown Hall, formerly Tidewater Hall, opened as the first permanent building on the new campus. In 1956 the future Norfolk State College granted its first bachelor's degrees.

In 1969, the college divided from Virginia State College and was named Norfolk State College. The college was issued accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools the same year with an enrollment of 5,400 students. In 1975 and the year following, the first master's degrees were awarded in Communications and Social Work, respectively. Dr. Harrison Benjamin Wilson, Jr., in 1975, succeeded Dr. Lyman Beecher Brooks as President after 37 years.

When the college was granted university status in 1979 by the General Assembly of Virginia, it changed its name to Norfolk State University.

Norfolk State University celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1985 with a year of observances and with an enrollment of 7,200. In 1995 Norfolk State University's enrollment reached 9,112.

Upon the retirement of Dr. Harrison Benjamin Wilson in 1997, Dr. Marie Valentine McDemmond, became NSU's third President in 1997 and served until her retirement. Dr. Alvin J. Schexnider became interim president in July 2005. Dr. Carolyn Winstead Meyers was selected as the fourth President and began service on July 1, 2006. Dr. Tony Atwater was announced as the new president in 2011 becoming the fifth president and served until he was removed by the board of visitors of Norfolk State University on August 23, 2013. Dr. Sandra DeLoatch the Provost and President of Academic Affairs was named acting president effective.[6] On September 13, 2013, Eddie N. Moore Jr. was appointed interim president of Norfolk State University and started serving in that capacity on September 23, 2013.[7]

In December 2013, the university was placed on probation by its regional accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, for "financial and governance issues."[8] The probation was lifted two years later.[9]

Eddie Moore, Jr. became the 6th president of Norfolk State University on January 10, 2016.[10]

Upon President Moore announcing his retirement in late September 2017 the NSU board of visitors named Dr. Melvin Stith as interim president. He will assume office on January 1, 2018.



Located on the former site of the 50-acre (202,343 m2) Memorial Park Golf Course, which the city of Norfolk sold to the school for one dollar, the campus now encompasses 134 acres (0.5 km2) of land and 31 buildings.

Joseph G. Echols Hall

The Joseph G. Echols Memorial Hall is a large health, physical education, and ROTC complex with a seating capacity of 7,500. Other facilities include a 30,000-seat football stadium; a television studio and radio station, an African art museum, and a multi-purpose performing arts center. Research facilities include a life sciences building with a planetarium and a materials research wing with crystal growth, organic synthesis, laser spectroscopy, and magnetic resonance equipment.

In September 2009, the New Student Center facility opened. The three story building, which includes a game room, a dining area, a new bookstore, a wellness center (work-out facility), student lounges, and administrative offices, marks the first of two major projects for NSU.

Construction on a New Nursing and General Classroom Building is underway and scheduled to open in 2014, . Other recent construction on the campus includes the new police station (2007), the Marie V. McDemmond Center for Applied Research (2006), and the Spartan Suites Apartments (2005), and state-of-the-art Library (2012).

Student activities

The university offers organized and informal co-curricular activities including 63 student organizations, leadership workshops, intramural activities, student publications and student internships.


Norfolk State sports teams participate in NCAA Division I (Football Championship Subdivision for all sports including football) in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). Norfolk State was formerly a member of the Eastern Intercollegiate Conference (1953-1960) and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1962-1996).[12]

The 2011-12 Norfolk State Spartans men's basketball team won the 2012 MEAC Men's Basketball Tournament championship which gave them the conference's automatic bid in the 2012 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, the school's first ever appearance in the tournament. The Spartans, a 15 seed, defeated the #2 seeded Missouri Tigers in the second round, 86-84. This victory was only the fifth time in NCAA Tournament history that a 15 seed defeated a 2 seed, with the last coming in 2001 by MEAC in-state rival Hampton.[13][14]

Marching band

The Marching Spartan Legion Band performs at campus events and during Norfolk State football games. They were featured performers in the Honda Battle of the Bands in 2007 and 2008.

National fraternities and sororities

All nine of the National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations currently have chapters at Norfolk State University. These organizations are:

Organization Symbol Chapter Chapter Symbol
Alpha Kappa Alpha Delta Epsilon
Alpha Phi Alpha Epsilon Pi
Delta Sigma Theta Epsilon Theta
Iota Phi Theta Delta ?
Kappa Alpha Psi Epsilon Zeta EZ
Omega Psi Phi Pi Gamma
Phi Beta Sigma Delta Zeta
Sigma Gamma Rho Gamma Nu
Zeta Phi Beta Zeta Gamma

The Council of Independent Organizations includes:

Organization Symbol Chapter Chapter Symbol
Chi Eta Phi Eta Beta
Mu Omicron Gamma Gamma ?
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Rho Mu
Sigma Alpha Iota Lambda Rho
Pi Sigma Epsilon Epsilon Tau
Tau Beta Sigma Epsilon Sigma
Kappa Kappa Psi Iota Xi
Pershing Rifles P/R Company R-4 R-4
Pershing Angels P/A Company R-4-5 R-4-5
Alpha Phi Omega Phi Mu

Student media


The Spartan Echo is the official student-produced newspaper of Norfolk State University. The paper is available in print (available twice a month) and on the web (updated daily).[15]

WNSB (College Radio Station)

Norfolk State operates WNSB(FM) radio, which broadcasts in stereo 24 hours a day from the campus and covers all of the Hampton Roads, Virginia area, reaching the Eastern Shore of Virginia, northeast North Carolina and the Richmond, Virginia suburbs.[16] Established on February 22, 1980 (1980-02-22) and known as "Hot 91.1", WNSB's programming is also broadcast via the internet.[16][17]

Notable faculty and staff

This list of notable faculty and staff contains current and former faculty, staff and presidents of the Norfolk State University.

Name Department Notability Reference
Na'im Akbar Psychology Clinical psychologist, prominent lecturer, and author on the psychology of Africans [18]
Anthony Evans Athletic Current interim head men's basketball coach at Norfolk State University and former head coach at Delhi Tech (Delhi, N.Y.) and Ulster County Community College (Kingston, N.Y.) [19]
Yacob Haile-Mariam Business an elected member of the Ethiopian parliament and a former Senior Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
Adolphus Hailstork Music former professor of music and Composer-in-Residence at Norfolk State [20]
Robert R. Jennings Administration current president of Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University
Yvonne B Miller Professor Emeritus Democratic State Senator who represents the 5th Senatorial District of the Commonwealth of Virginia. [21]
Steve Riddick Athletic Olympic gold medal winner and former Norfolk State University coach

Notable alumni

This is a partial list of notable alumni which includes graduates, non-graduate former students, and current students of Norfolk State University or predecessors such as Norfolk State College.

A photo of Randall Robinson and his wife in Haiti in 1994 at the inauguration ceremony of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Name Class year Notability
Willard Bailey 1962 Former head football coach at Virginia Union University, Norfolk State University, and Saint Paul's College
Jedidah Isler 2003 Isler became the first African-American woman to receive a PhD in Astrophysics from Yale University in 2014 [22]
Gordon Banks Guitarist, producer, writer and musical director [23]
Al Beard Former ABA player for the New Jersey Americans [24]
Ron Bolton 1972 Former NFL player for the New England Patriots and the Cleveland Browns [25]
Karen Briggs Violinist [26]
Chris Brown Bahamian track & field sprinter
Don Carey 2009 NFL defensive back [27]
Bob Dandridge 1969 Former NBA player for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Washington Bullets [28]
Ray Epps 1977 Former NBA player for the Golden State Warriors [29]
Evelyn J. Fields 1971 Former director of the Office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Corps Operations and the NOAA Commissioned Corps. She was the first woman and the first African American to hold this position. [30]
Future Man Percussionist and member of the jazz quartet Béla Fleck and the Flecktones [31]
Willie Gillus Former NFL player for the Green Bay Packers [32]
Elbert Guillory Republican member of the Louisiana State Senate from Opelousas, Louisiana; elected as a Democrat in 2007 but switched parties on May 31, 2013 [33]
Pee Wee Kirkland First-round NBA draft pick (1969, Chicago Bulls) and notable Rucker Park street basketball star. As a junior, he teamed with Bob Dandridge, and was named to the all-tournament team at the NCAA Mideast Regional in 1967. [34]
Ray Jarvis Former NFL player for the Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, and the New England Patriots [35]
Leroy Jones Former NFL player for the San Diego Chargers [36]
Nathan McCall Former reporter for the Virginian Pilot-Ledger Star, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and The Washington Post and the author of the best selling book Makes Me Wanna Holler
Yvonne B Miller Democratic State Senator who represents the 5th Senatorial District of the Commonwealth of Virginia [21]
Alex Moore American football player [37]
Kyle O'Quinn 2012 NBA player for the New York Knicks
David Pope 1984 Former NBA player for the Utah Jazz, Kansas City Kings, and the Seattle SuperSonics [38]
Ken Reaves Former NFL player for the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, and the St. Louis Cardinals [39]
Tim Reid 1968 Comedian, actor, director [40]
Randall Robinson African-American lawyer, author and activist, who is noted as the founder of TransAfrica [41]
James Edward Roe 1995 Former NFL player for the Baltimore Ravens and Arena Football League player for the San Jose SaberCats [42]
J.B. Smoove Actor, writer, and stand-up comedian, best known for role as Leon on Curb Your Enthusiasm [43]
Chandra Sturrup Bahamian track sprinter; Gold Medal Winner in the 2000 Olympics
Shawn Z. Tarrant 1998 Member, Maryland House of Delegates
Andrew Warren 1993 Former U.S. diplomat to Algeria [44]
Susan Wigenton 1984 Federal Judge, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
D'Extra Wiley Entertainment veteran, producer and former MCA Records R&B Artist for the 90's New Jack group II D Extreme

See also


  1. ^ NSU Visual Guide (PDF). Retrieved . 
  2. ^ "Accreditation and Affiliations". Norfolk State University. Archived from the original on 2008-12-05. Retrieved . 
  3. ^ "Engineering Schools in Virginia". Retrieved 2017. 
  4. ^ "Schools of NSU". Archived from the original on 2008-01-06. Retrieved . 
  5. ^ a b c "About Norfolk State". Archived from the original on 2007-12-30. Retrieved . 
  6. ^ Denise M. Watson (23 August 2013). "Norfolk State board fires President Tony Atwater". Virginian Pilot. Retrieved 2013. 
  7. ^ Denise M. Watson (13 September 2013). "Norfolk State names Moore as interim president". Virginian Pilot. Retrieved 2013. 
  8. ^ "Southern Accreditor Clears Virginia, Fisk, Florida A&M". Inside Higher Ed. December 11, 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  9. ^ "Southern Accreditor Places Tennessee-Martin on Probation". Inside Higher Ed. December 10, 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  10. ^ Green, Kevin. "NSU finalizes contract with former interim president". WAVY-TV. Retrieved . 
  11. ^ "Student Organizations and Activities". Archived from the original on 2008-01-06. Retrieved . 
  12. ^ "College Football Data Warehouse: Norfolk State Historical Data". Retrieved . 
  13. ^ [1] ESPN
  14. ^ Skretta, Dave (March 16, 2012). "Norfolk State upsets Missouri 86-84 in NCAA tourney". The Virginian-Pilot (Associated Press). Retrieved 2012. 
  15. ^ "Spartan Echo". Spartan Echo. Retrieved 2015. 
  16. ^ a b "Norfolk State University Student Life". Archived from the original on 2007-12-24. Retrieved . 
  17. ^ "WNSB Hot 91.1 = Norfolk State University". Archived from the original on 2008-01-02. Retrieved . 
  18. ^ "Dr. Na'im Akbar". Na'im Akbar Consultants. Archived from the original on 2007-12-14. Retrieved . 
  19. ^ "Norfolk State Athletics". Norfolk State University. Retrieved . 
  20. ^ "Old Dominion University Libraries Adolphus Hailstork Collection Biography". Old Dominion University. Archived from the original on January 1, 2005. Retrieved . 
  21. ^ a b "Yvonne B. Miller - State Senator". Yvonne B. Miller. Archived from the original on 2008-02-18. Retrieved . 
  22. ^ "Jedidah Isler First African-American Woman To Receive A Yale PhD In Astrophysics". Retrieved . 
  23. ^ Gordon Banks at AllMusic
  24. ^ "Al Beard Statistics". Retrieved . 
  25. ^ "Ron Bolton Past Stats, Statistics, History and Awards". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved . 
  26. ^ "Karen Briggs". Diva Foundation. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved . 
  27. ^ "Don Carey Recent Games Career Stats". Retrieved . 
  28. ^ "Bob Dandridge Statistics". Retrieved . 
  29. ^ "Ray Epps Statistics". Retrieved . 
  30. ^ Boyd, Charles E. (February 2001). "Rear admiral Evelyn Fields, NOAA Corps, rises to a prestigious military level". Black Collegian. Retrieved . 
  31. ^ Roy Wooten at AllMusic
  32. ^ "Willie Gillus". Retrieved . 
  33. ^ "Elbert Guillory". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2013. 
  34. ^ Mallozzi, Vincent M. (1997-01-12). "The Legend of Pee Wee Kirkland Grows". The New York Times Print Edition. The New York Times. Retrieved . 
  35. ^ "Ray Jarvis - Past Stats, Statistics, History and Awards". Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved . 
  36. ^ "Leroy Jones - Past Stats, Statistics, History and Awards". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved . 
  37. ^ "ALEX MOORE". Archived from the original on September 8, 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  38. ^ "David Pope Statistics". Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved . 
  39. ^ "Ken Reaves - Past Stats, Statistics, History and Awards". Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved . 
  40. ^ "Tim Reid". The Museum of Broadcast Communications. 
  41. ^ "TransAfrica founder, Randall Robinson . ." The African American Registry. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved . 
  42. ^ "James Roe - Past Stats, Statistics, History and Awards". Archived from the original on 2007-02-20. Retrieved . 
  43. ^ Axelrod, Josh (14 January 2012). "The Comedic Stylings of J.B. Smoove". Retrieved . 
  44. ^ "The Spartan Bookcase -Alumni authors". Norfolk State University. Archived from the original on 2009-02-17. Retrieved . 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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