Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University

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Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University
Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University
Alabama A&M University Seal.png
Alabama A&M University Seal
MottoService is Sovereignty
TypePublic, HBCU
Endowment$119 million
PresidentAndrew Hugine, Jr.
LocationNormal, Alabama,
United States

34°47′05″N 86°34′12″W / 34.784643°N 86.569950°W / 34.784643; -86.569950Coordinates: 34°47′05″N 86°34′12″W / 34.784643°N 86.569950°W / 34.784643; -86.569950
CampusSuburban, 880 acres (3.6 km2)
ColorsMaroon and White
AthleticsNCAA Division I FCS
NicknameBulldogs or Lady Bulldogs
AffiliationsSouthwestern Athletic Conference
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Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University
Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University
Alabama A&M University Seal.png
Alabama A&M University Seal
MottoService is Sovereignty
TypePublic, HBCU
Endowment$119 million
PresidentAndrew Hugine, Jr.
LocationNormal, Alabama,
United States

34°47′05″N 86°34′12″W / 34.784643°N 86.569950°W / 34.784643; -86.569950Coordinates: 34°47′05″N 86°34′12″W / 34.784643°N 86.569950°W / 34.784643; -86.569950
CampusSuburban, 880 acres (3.6 km2)
ColorsMaroon and White
AthleticsNCAA Division I FCS
NicknameBulldogs or Lady Bulldogs
AffiliationsSouthwestern Athletic Conference

Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, also known as Alabama A&M University or AAMU, is a public, historically black, land-grant university located in Normal, Madison County, Alabama, United States.[2][3] AAMU is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, as well as other specialty, regional and national accrediting bodies, AAMU’s academic programs have been recognized by U.S. News and World Report, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and the Washington Monthly. Each year, several students achieve regional and national honors in their respective disciplines. AAMU researchers are using conceptual modeling and innovation to come up with improvements aimed at better nuclear detection for homeland security uses. A $360,000 grant from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has helped extend and secure additional research support from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Homeland Security. Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University Historic District, also known as Normal Hill College Historic District, has 28 buildings and 4 structures, listed in the United States National Register of Historic Places.


William Hooper Councill (center), lawyer, editor and founder of Huntsville Normal School (later Alabama A&M University), posing with some of his students.

Alabama A&M was originally established by an act of the Alabama State Legislature in 1873 as the State Normal School and University for the Education of the Colored Teachers and Students.

Peyton Finley introduced twin bills in the State Board of Education for the establishment of four "normal" schools for whites and blacks in 1875. In that same year, William Hooper Councill became founder of Alabama A&M University. Land on which much of the original campus was built, was acquired from the Conley Family, a notable local family established prior to the Civil War. Members of the family have attended as students, or worked as staff, at Alabama A&M in each year of the school's operation since its founding.

By 1878, the state appropriation increased to $2,000 and the school changed its name to the State Normal and Industrial School. Industrial training began in 1883. In 1885 the name was changed to State Normal and Industrial School of Huntsville.

Presidents of Alabama A&M[4]
William H. Councill1890–1909
Walter S. Buchanan1909–1921
Theophilus Parker1921–1927
Joseph Fanning Drake1927–1962
Richard Morrison1962–1984
Douglas Covington1984–1987
Carl Marbury1987–1991
David Henson1992–1995
John Gibson1996–2005
Robert R. Jennings2006–2008
Andrew Hugine, Jr.2009–present

By 1890, the students numbered 300, with 11 teachers, the school site became known as Normal, Alabama, and a post office was established. Students were called "Normalites." In 1891, the school was designated as a land-grant college through legislative enactment February 13 and received funds as a land-grant college under the terms of the Morrill Act of 1890. In 1896 the name was changed to The State Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes.

In 1919, the school became the State Agricultural and Mechanical Institute for Negroes, and in 1948 it was renamed the Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College. In 1939, the State Board of Education granted authority to offer course work on the senior college level.

In 1949, the name changed to Alabama A&M College. AAMU became fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1963. Finally, in June 1969, the school adopted its current name.

In July 1996, the Board of Trustees appointed Dr. John T. Gibson as the university’s ninth president and the one who would ultimately lead the institution into the new millennium. A native of Montgomery, Ala., and a graduate of Tuskegee University and the University of Colorado-Boulder, Gibson immediately began implementation of his ambitious "eight-step plan". The Gibson administration saw the construction of the huge, visionary West Campus Complex, the erection of the 21,000-seat Louis Crews Stadium, the renovations and re-roofing of key buildings and the moving of athletic programs to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The long-awaited School of Engineering and Technology was built in 2002, and the Ph.D. program in Reading/Literacy was established. In 2008, Alabama Examiners of Public Accounts reported $1.2 million of missing funds during an audit covering the period of 2002 through 2005.[5]

In its publication, "Past Presidents," AAMU notes that the tenth president, Dr. Robert R. Jennings, began his duties in January 2006 and launched a mission to restore the University’s community engagement and focus more on its students. Throughout his brief tenure, Jennings developed a number of programs aimed at making ‘The Hill’ a place more in tune with the quality of student life, including a VIP student dining facility, graduate student convenience store/lounge, improved campus lighting, stream-lined processes for business and finance, and the implementation of a campus wide operational system. On March 31, 2008, the school's Trustees fired Jennings on the grounds that Jennings had given his assistant paid leave.[6]

University Profile[edit]

The new AAMU Student Health and Wellness Center opened during Fall of 2010.







"The Hill"
Alabama A&M University Historic District
LocationChase Rd., Normal, Alabama
Area291 acres (118 ha)
Architectural styleClassical Revival, Modern Movement
Governing bodyState
NRHP Reference #01001407[7]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPDecember 31, 2001
Designated ARLHAugust 25, 1994[8]

On May 1, 1875, the school opened with a state appropriation of $1,000, 61 pupils, and two teachers at its first location on Clinton Street in Huntsville. In 1881, the school was moved to first school-owned property on West Clinton Street (the land upon which the Von Braun Center is presently located) known as the "Dement Place." The property on West Clinton Street was deeded to the State of Alabama by trustees in 1884.

In 1885, the state appropriations were increased to $4,000 and a building erected for industrial training through $1,000 grant from the Slater Fund.

On September 30, 1891 the present site of 182.73 acres (739,000 m²) was purchased, with the largest tracts acquired from two branches of the Conley Family. Morris and Hurt Halls were subsequently named for two of the Conley Family members. The school expanded to include agriculture and home economics and Palmer Hall (named for State Superintendent Solomon Palmer) and (Governor Thomas) Seay Hall were built with student labor.

The first library on the campus was built with funds from the Carnegie Foundation in 1904 for $12,000, and was named for its benefactor, Andrew Carnegie. In the 1940s, it was remodeled at a cost of $70,000 and provided additional book stacks and reading rooms. The library was two stories tall, and with a little over 4,000 square feet (370 m²); it served several purposes and housed the offices of the President, Business Manager and Treasurer, Home and Farm Demonstration Agents, the U.S. Post Office at Normal, and on the second floor, living quarters for male faculty. In 1947, the library was enlarged 5,000 square feet (460 m²), which reflected the college's growth. So rapid was the college's student growth that they even outgrew the nearly 10,000 square foot (930 m²) library, and in 1962, a new Reference Annex was added. In January 1968, a new 60,000 square foot (5,600 m²) library was completed and occupied and was named in honor of Dr. Drake. It was designed to house 300,000 volumes and 1,000 students. In 1972, the Educational Media Center and the Library merged to form the Learning Resources Center, which incorporates interactive and multi-media. In 2002 the competition of the latest renovation saw the [LRC] become a 75,000-square-foot (7,000 m2) structure now housing over 400,000 volumes, digital research sources and other student oriented services.

In 1911, McCormick (Hospital) Hall and Councill Domestic Science Building were erected and Bibb Graves Hall was constructed in 1929.

In 1994, the Mamie Labon Foster Student Living/Learning Complex erected. Groundbreaking was held for new School of Business facility in 1995 and stadium and residence hall construction began.

In 2001, earth work began on new School of Engineering and Technology, library renovations underway and the athletic complex was expanded. The Engineering and Technology building construction was completed in 2002 and opened for classes in January 2003.

The Learning Resources Center renovations were completed in 2002 . The renovation added over 15,000 square feet (1,400 m²), an interactive Distance Learning Auditorium, conference, study and class rooms, lounges, and computer lab.

The entire campus is served by the Bulldog Transit shuttle bus system.[18]

Student activities[edit]



Other Student Organizations[edit]

Alabama A&M University Choir[edit]

In May 2008, the Alabama A&M University Choir was slated to participate in the American Choral Music Festival in Leipzig, Germany. In 2007, the choir became the first HBCU choir to be invited to attend the American Choral Festival in Germany

On Thursday, January 21, 2010 the choir performed a historical concert at the Alabama Music Educators Association (AMEA) Annual Conference. This was a historical event because the choir was the first HBCU Choir in the state to perform at that conference.

Telecommunications Program[edit]

In 2008, Telecommunications students played an active role on campus. Katherine Mitchell and Alexandria Jackson created the A&M's news show Hump Day. In 2009, Brandon Blevins and Brandon "Wizeman" Lewis created a series of Alabama A&M University short films including Ebony Fire, Tone of Demise 2 and Matters of the Heart.

Dairy Team[edit]

In 2009, the AAMU Dairy Team captured silver honors in the 8th National North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge.

In 2010, the AAMU Dairy Team won the Gold Award in the 9th National North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge.


Alabama A&M's sports teams participate in NCAA Division I (Football Championship Subdivision, formerly I-AA for football) in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Alabama A&M's colors are maroon and white and their mascot is the Bulldog. The Alabama A&M Department of Athletics sponsors men's intercollegiate basketball, football, baseball, cross country, golf, tennis and track & field along with women's intercollegiate tennis, basketball, soccer, track, cross country, bowling, volleyball and softball. Also offered are men's and women's swimming clubs. The football team's home games are played at Louis Crews Stadium. Both men's and women's basketball home games are played in Elmore Gymnasium, affectionately known by fans as "The Dog House."[9]

AAMU Bulldog Club[edit]

The Bulldog Club, Inc., was established in 1998 as a non-profit organization whose purpose is to support Alabama A&M Bulldog Athletics by raising monies from private resources. These monies are to be used to benefit more than 500 student-athletes. There are seven membership levels (patron, pup, maroon, maroon & white family, bulldog, coaches, and executive) with a schedule of benefits based on the amount contributed.


The university's varsity teams include:

Men's sports

  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Track and Field
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Soccer

Women's sports

  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Bowling
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Track and Field
  • Tennis
  • Cross Country

In 2002, the women's softball team won its first SWAC championship. 1998 was the first year AAMU had a softball team. In 2005, the men's basketball team won its first SWAC regular season and tournament championship. In 2006, the football team won its first SWAC Championship.


Alabama A&M University is the licensee for National Public Radio affiliate station WJAB 90.9,[1] which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week on campus.

Notable alumni[edit]

NameClass yearNotabilityReference(s)
Louis Crewsformer head football coach from 1960 to 1975. He compiled a record of 94-52-3. He is the winningest coach at Alabama A&M
Don Calloway2002politician, Member of the Missouri House of Representatives from the 71st district
Dannette Young-Stone1986former track athlete, who won Olympic gold and silver medals in the 4 X 100 relay in 1988 and 1992[2]
Marc Lacy1991Author, spoken word poet, lecturer, and government contractor
Shewanda Pugh2003Author
Charles Scales1976Retired Associate Deputy Administrator, NASA
Howard Ballardformer National Football League player (2 time Pro-Bowler, 4 time Super Bowler)
Michael CroomsMusic Producer
Robert MathisNational Football League defensive end for Indianapolis Colts
Frank KearseNational Football League defensive tackle for Carolina Panthers
Jamaal Johnson-Webb2012current NFL offensive lineman
Fernandez Shawcurrent Arena Football League defensive end
Sun Raattendedjazz musician
Bama BoyzMusic Producers
Mickell Gladness2008former NBA player
Mfana Futhi Bhembe2008former soccer player for the Bulldogs who went on to play in soccer leagues in Swaziland and in Major League Soccer.
Sylvester Croom, Sr.minister and community leader in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Father of first African-American SEC head football coach Sylvester Croom Jr.
John Stallworth1974 (MBA 1986)National Football League Hall of Fame member, former Pittsburgh Steelers player and four time Pro-Bowler
Ruben Studdardattended (received football scholarship)American Idol season 2 winner
Barry Wagnerformer Arena Football League player
Kendrick Rogersformer National Football League player
L. Vann Pettaway1980former men's head basketball coach
Cleon Jonesformer Major League Baseball player
Brick Haley1988NFL and College football defensive coach
Jean Harbor1986former soccer player for the Bulldogs who went on to play in various soccer leagues in Nigeria and the United States
Pearlie Mae Lamb Jenkinsfemale basketball standout, first Bulldog to dunk in a game.
Lwazi Maziyaformer soccer player for the Bulldogs who went on to play with Mbabane Swallows of the Swazi Premier League and the Swaziland national football team.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Alabama A & M University". Archived from the original on 10 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  2. ^ "Results". Commission on Colleges. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  3. ^ "What are Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)?". Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  4. ^ "Alabama A&M University History". Alabama A&M University History. Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  5. ^ Associated Press (September 3, 2010). "Case of Missing $1 Million at Ala. A&M Unsolved After Two Years". Archived from the original on 9 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-08. 
  6. ^ "President of Alabama A&M U. Is Fired Over Assistant's Paid Leave". Chronicle of Higher Education. March 31, 2008. Retrieved 2010-10-08. 
  7. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  8. ^ "Properties on the Alabama Register of Landmarks & Heritage". Alabama Historical Commission. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  9. ^

Additional reading[edit]

  1. Morrison, Richard David. History of Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University: 1875–1992. Huntsville, Ala. : Liberal Arts Press, c1994.
  2. ^ "Results". Archived from the original on 11 December 2005. Retrieved 23 November 2005. 
  3. ^ "Historically Black Colleges and Universities". Archived from the original on 10 December 2005. Retrieved 23 November 2005. 
  4. ^ "WJAB Jazz & Blues!!". Archived from the original on 8 November 2005. Retrieved 23 November 2005. 

Saintjones, Jerome. (2011) Normal Index Online. Alabama A&M University. Normal, AL

External links[edit]