|Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute (1882-1902)
Virginia State College for Negroes (1902-1946)
Virginia State College (1946-1979)
|Motto||"Building a Better World"|
|Established||March 6, 1882|
|President||Makola M. Abdullah|
|Location||Petersburg, Virginia, U.S.|
|Campus||Suburban, 265 acres Main Campus, 413 acres Off Campus site (95.5 ha)|
|Colors||Orange and Blue
|Athletics||NCAA Division II - CIAA|
Virginia State University (VSU), also known as Virginia State, is a historically black public land-grant university located north of the Appomattox River in Petersburg. Founded on March 6, 1882 , Virginia State developed as the United States's first fully state-supported four-year institution of higher learning for black Americans. The university is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
Following the American Civil War, William Mahone (1826-1895) of Petersburg, Virginia was the driving force in 1870 to combine the Norfolk and Petersburg, South Side and the Virginia & Tennessee railroads to form the Atlantic, Mississippi & Ohio Railroad (AM&O). The new line extended from Norfolk to Bristol. After the AM&O struggled to operate for several years under receiverships, the railroad was sold at auction in 1881 and became part of the Norfolk and Western Railway.
Mahone, a former Confederate general, led Virginia's Readjuster Party. He was a major proponent of public schools for the education of freedmen and free blacks. Elected by the state legislature as a United States Senator from Virginia, he arranged for the proceeds of the AM&O sale to help found a normal school for black teachers near Petersburg. Alfred W. Harris, a black attorney who was a state delegate, introduced the bill that established the institute. In 1882, the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute at Ettrick was established.
The next morning I asked my father about the school for coloured people, which was being projected under the influence of General Mahone at Petersburg, now a State Normal School. He told me much about it. It was to open the following fall. The Hon. John M. Langston, he said, a coloured man who was as well educated as any white person that he knew of, was to be the president. He said I might go if I wished and that he would do what he could to help me. It being a state school, and he having certain strong friends in the Republican Party (General Mahone among them), Hon. B.S. Hooper, a member of Congress from the Fourth Congressional District of Virginia, would probably arrange for me to have a scholarship.
Virginia State's first president was John Mercer Langston, former dean of Howard University's law school, and later elected to Congress as the first African-American Representative from Virginia (and the last until 1972). The board of trustees was composed of prominent African-American men, with one seat for a white man. Until the mid-1960s, following federal civil rights legislation that ended racial segregation, the faculty of the collegiate program and the normal school was exclusively African American.
In response to the 1890 Amendments to the federal Morrill Act, Virginia designated the normal school as one of its land grant colleges. The United States Congress required that states either open their land-grant colleges (supported by all taxpayers) to all races or else establish additional land-grant educational facilities for blacks. Following the Reconstruction era, white Democrats had regained power in the Virginia state legislature (and across the former Confederacy); they had established Jim Crow racial segregation in public facilities, including schools and colleges.
In 1902, the legislature revised the school's charter and renamed it the Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute. With expansion of programs and a four-year curriculum, in 1930 the college was renamed Virginia State College for Negroes, shortened to Virginia State College in 1946.
In 1979, the institution's addition of more departments and graduate programs was recognized in a change of name to Virginia State University.
In 2003, the university accepted its first students in its first Ph.D. program.
On July 1, 2010, President Keith T. Miller was named as the 13th president of Virginia State University. He previously served as President of Lock Haven University. Miller earned his bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees from the University of Arizona.
The university has a 236-acre (0.96 km2) main campus and a 416-acre (1.68 km2) agricultural research facility. The main campus includes more than 50 buildings, including 16 dormitories and 16 classroom buildings. The main campus is located close to the Appomattox River in Ettrick, Virginia.
This is a list of the departments within each college:
The university also has the Office for International Education and the Institute for Study of Race Relations.
The 2009-2010 student body was 62.2% female and 37.5% male. It consists of 69.7% in-state and 30.3% out-of-state students. 97.2% of students live on campus and 2.8% off-campus. 91.1% of students self-identify as Black/African American, while 4.0% are White, and 4.0% are racially unreported.
Virginia State University has a very active National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) along with six other non Pan-Hellenic fraternities and sororities which include the following active fraternities and sororities:
Directed by Interim Director James Holden Jr., the VSU Trojan Explosion includes the Troy Elegance Feature Baton Twirlers, Essence of Troy Dancers, the Satin Divas Flag Corps, in addition to the instrumentalists.
Originally led by head coach Paulette Johnson for 35 years, the Woo Woos are a nationally recognized cheerleading squad known for original, up-tempo and high energy performances. The 30 member squad is composed of young women from all over the country. The squad focuses on community service as well as promoting school spirit. Tryouts are held annually during the spring semester for VSU full-time students. Instructional camps and workshops are offered throughout the state. In 2001, the university granted the Woo Woo Alumni chapter its initial charter. The organization has a rapidly growing membership that is actively involved in the promotion of the squad and its individual members. Shandra Claiborne, a former Woo Woo, led the team for one year following the retirement of Johnson. The squad has been under the leadership of former Woo Woo Cassandra Artis-Williams since 2013.
This list includes graduates, non-graduate former students and current students of Virginia State University.
|Gaye Adegbalola||1978||Blues singer and civil rights activist|
|Deshauna Barber||2011||Miss USA 2016, Top 9 in Miss Universe 2016|||
|Clara Byrd Baker||Educator, civic leader, and suffragette|||
|Aline Elizabeth Black||Educator and the focus of a civil rights suit|
|Joe Bonner||Jazz pianist|||
|Herman Branson||1936||African American physicist, best known for his research on the alpha helix protein structure|||
|Rovenia M. Brock||Nutritionist, lecturer, health reporter, entrepreneur, and author|||
|Al Bumbry||Major League Baseball|||
|Larry Brooks||1971||Former NFL defensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams and current assistant coach of the Virginia State Trojans football team|
|James Brown||Former NFL player|
|Pamela E. Bridgewater||Former U.S. Ambassador to Ghana and current U.S. ambassador to Jamaica|
|Rufus Crawford||Former NFL and CFL player|
|Rosalyn Dance||1986||Politician, Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 63rd district
|Das EFX||attended||Rap group|
|Silas DeMary||1993||Arena Football League player|||
|Wale Folarin||DC Rapper (transferred to Bowie State University)|
|Roger L. Gregory||1975||Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit|||
|Aaron Hall||attended||Member of the Music Group Guy|
|Damion Hall||attended||Member of the Music Group Guy|
|Delores G. Kelley||1956||Member of Maryland State Senate, representing Maryland's District 10 in Baltimore County, Maryland|
|Kelvin Kinney||Former NFL player|
|Reginald Lewis||Businessman; owner of TLC Beatrice International|
|William H. Lewis||c. 1890||Former United States Assistant Attorney General|
|Naomi Long Madgett||1945||Teacher and an award winning poet, she is also the senior editor of Lotus Press, which is a publisher of poetry books by African-American poets|||
|Thomas Miller||Prolific graphic designer and visual artist, whose best known publicly accessible work is the collection of mosaics of the founders of DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, Illinois.|||
|Héctor Martínez Muñoz||First member of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico|
|Jim Mitchell||Former NFL player|
|James H. Stith||1963||African-American physicist and current professor of Physics at Ohio State University|||
|Roslyn Tyler||Politician, Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 75th district
|Billy Taylor||Jazz musician|
|Dennis L. Via||1980||Four Star General, U.S. Army, Retired, 18th Commanding General United States Army Materiel Command (AMC)|
|Camilla Williams||1941||First African-American to receive a contract from a major American opera company|
|Benjie E. Wimberly||Member of the New Jersey General Assembly|||
|Avis Wyatt||2007?||Professional basketball player|