Central State University

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Central State University
Central State University Presidential Seal.png
TypePublic, HBCU[2]
PresidentCynthia Jackson-Hammond, Ed.D. [1]
ProvostCharles Wesley Ford, Jr., Ph.D.
Students2,116 (Fall 2013)
LocationWilberforce, Ohio, United States[1]
Former namesWilberforce State College
Central State College[1]
ColorsMaroon and Gold
AthleticsNCAA Division II (G-MAC, SIAC-football) (2013)
NicknameMarauders and Lady Marauders
MascotMarauder Man
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Central State University
Central State University Presidential Seal.png
TypePublic, HBCU[2]
PresidentCynthia Jackson-Hammond, Ed.D. [1]
ProvostCharles Wesley Ford, Jr., Ph.D.
Students2,116 (Fall 2013)
LocationWilberforce, Ohio, United States[1]
Former namesWilberforce State College
Central State College[1]
ColorsMaroon and Gold
AthleticsNCAA Division II (G-MAC, SIAC-football) (2013)
NicknameMarauders and Lady Marauders
MascotMarauder Man

Central State University, commonly referred to as CSU, is a historically black university (HBCU) located in Wilberforce, Ohio, United States. It is the only public HBCU in Ohio. Central State University is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.


Central State University's history began in 1856, when the Cincinnati Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church established the Ohio African University at Tawawa Springs, Ohio. With the advance of the Civil War, a number of students left to fight in the war, and the school was forced to close, in 1862. The African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church purchased the site and reopened the school in 1863 as Wilberforce University. In 1887, the Ohio General Assembly enacted legislation to create the Combined Normal and Industrial Department at Wilberforce, to provide training for teachers and vocational education. This department operated as part of Wilberforce University, but a separately appointed board of trustees governed the state-financed operations. This arrangement allowed state legislators to sponsor scholarship students at the university and brought other forms of financial aid.

In 1941 the Normal and Industrial Department expanded from a two- to a four-year program. It was legally split from Wilberforce University in 1947, when it became the College of Education and Industrial Arts at Wilberforce, Ohio.

In 1951, it was renamed Central State College, and in 1965 the institution achieved university status.


Central State University is accredited by the Ohio Department of Education, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, and the National Association of Schools of Music.[3]

In 2011, the annual cost of all fees and tuition at Central State University was about $11,500. The college has on-campus housing for about 1400 students, at $4,000 annually.


Central State operates four colleges: the College of Education, College of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences, College of Business, and College of Science and Engineering[4]


The main campus is located in Wilberforce, 4 miles (6.4 km) northeast of Xenia, 18 miles (29 km) east of Dayton and midway between Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio (about 55 miles (89 km) from each city).[5] A branch campus (CSU-Dayton) is located in Dayton.[4]

Adjacent to the main campus is an outdoor education area, a natural reserve. Within a hundred yards of the Robeson Center is the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, operated by the Ohio Historical Society.

Student housing

The campus housing complex, which houses approximately 1,650 students, consists of eight residence halls: Hunter Hall (co-ed), Green Hall (upperclassmen male), Anderson Hall (upperclassmen male), Fox Hall (co-ed honors), Harry-Johns Hall (co-ed honors), Foundation Hall (freshmen females), and Foundation Hall II (co-ed upperclassmen).[6]

Benjamin Banneker Science Hall

Originally constructed in 1950 with an addition completed in 1967, Banneker Hall housed science laboratories and a botanical laboratory and greenhouse. The building was demolished in Fall 2010 for a proposed expanded student union center.

Beacom/Lewis Gymnasium

Constructed in 1961, Beacom Gymnasium is the home of the Marauders volleyball and basketball teams and provides office space for the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. The original Beacom Gymnasium constructed in 1919 was destroyed by fire in 1971. The natatorium was constructed in 1966.

Hallie Q. Brown Library/Clara A. Henderson Hall College of Education

The Library/College of Education building was completed in 1985 and houses the main library, classrooms, and offices for the College of Education. The library portion of the building is named in honor of long-time educator and public speaker Hallie Q. Brown. The College of Education is named for teacher, department chairperson and dean, Dr. Clara A. Henderson.

Camille O. & William H. Cosby Mass Communication Center

The Cosby Center houses the university's telecommunications programs (including radio, television and print journalism) and the campus-based radio station WCSU-FM. It was constructed in 1958 and named the Lucinda Cook Laboratory Demonstration School.

Galloway/Alumni Tower The Galloway Tower/Walter G. Sellers Alumni

The facility houses the offices of the CSU General Alumni Association. The building was named in honor of Dr. William Galloway, a physician who served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Combined Normal and Industrial Department. It was rebuilt following the 1974 tornado that destroyed the original Galloway Hall. Funds to reconstruct the tower were raised by alumni and friends of Central State University. During the university's Centennial celebration in 1987, the Alumni Center was named in honor of Walter G. Sellers Sr., a 1951 CSU graduate.

Jenkins Technology Education Building

Home of the Department of Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering, the building is named in honor of Carl C. Jenkins, a superintendent of the Combined Normal and Industrial Department. An earlier building, constructed in 1941, was also named for Jenkins and housed the Physical Education Department, Army ROTC, and Bookstore and Grill. Destroyed in 1974, the original Jenkins Hall housed the audio-visual department, the campus radio station, the bookstore, and office of the CSU Federal Credit Union at the time.

The C.J. McLin International Center for Water Resources Management

Three programs are housed in the facility opened in 1987: Water Resources Management, Geology, and Earth Sciences.

Lackey/Lee Health Center The Lackey/Lee Health Center

Opened in 1978, the center houses administrative offices, examination and treatment rooms, and laboratory facilities. It replaced the former campus health center, also named for Dr. Lackey and earlier known as Tawawa Hospital, which was among the buildings destroyed in 1974. The building is named for Dr. Harry M. Lackey (university physician from 1921 to 1953), Bishop Benjamin F. Lee (president of Wilberforce University from 1876 to 1884), Benjamin F. Lee, Jr. (a faculty member), and Benjamin F. Lee, III (physician who served the campus and the community).

McPherson Memorial Stadium

McPherson Stadium is home to the Marauder football and track and field teams. Originally constructed in 1949, the structure has been renovated to expand and modernize the locker room, training room, and office spaces. It is named in honor of Combined Normal and Industrial Department graduate William Patrick McPherson, who was killed in action in World War II.

Lionel H. Newsom Administration Building

The administration building was dedicated in 1978 and named in honor of Dr. Lionel H. Newsom, president of Central State from 1972 to 1985. It was constructed on the remaining portion of the Hallie Q. Brown Memorial Library, heavily damaged in the 1974 tornado. The building houses administrative and financial offices, the administrative computer center, and the Office of the Registrar.

Paul Robeson Cultural and Performing Arts Center

The Paul Robeson Cultural and Performing Arts Center houses the art and music departments, classrooms, and studios. It was dedicated in 1978 in honor of the singer, actor, activist and winner of the Stalin Peace Prize, Paul Robeson. The building includes an 850-seat auditorium and a recital hall. A large sculpture of Robeson in front of the center was commissioned by Camille and William Cosby.

Charles S. Smith College of Business

Smith Hall was completed in 1970 and named in honor of Charles S. Smith, founder of the College of Business Administration. It houses the College of Business Administration's classrooms and laboratories and an academic computer center.

Norman E. Ward Sr. University Center

The building houses a bookstore, commuter lounge, and office spaces for the Admissions Department, Financial Aid Department, Career Services Department, Student Government Association and the Dean of Students. It is named for 1950 graduate, Norman Ward Sr, an outstanding athlete, teacher, coach, and administrator.

Charles H. Wesley Hall

Wesley Hall houses the College of Arts and Sciences' administrative offices, classrooms and offices. It is named in honor of Central State University's first president, Charles H. Wesley (1941 to 1967).

Center for Education and Natural Sciences

Houses the School of Education and Natural Sciences department of the College of Arts and Sciences.


National championships[7]
1960NCAA Small College Men's Cross Country
1961NCAA Small College Men's Cross Country
1965NAIA Men's Basketball
1968NAIA Men's Basketball
1983NCAA Division II Runner Up Football
1990NAIA Division I Football
1991NAIA Women's Outdoor Track & Field
1992NAIA Women's Outdoor Track & Field
1992NAIA Division I Football
1993NAIA Men's Indoor Track & Field
1993NAIA Women's Indoor Track & Field
1993NAIA Men's Outdoor Track & Field
1993NAIA Women's Outdoor Track & Field
1994NAIA Men's Indoor Track & Field
1994NAIA Women's Outdoor Track & Field
1995NAIA Division I Football
1996NAIA Women's Indoor Track & Field
1997NAIA Women's Outdoor Track & Field

Central State's athletic teams are known as the Marauders and Lady Marauders. The university competes as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division II level. The university fields ten sports including: men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, and women's volleyball. Central State is an Independent member of Division II in nine sports,[7] while the football team competes in the Great Lakes Football Conference (now absorbed into the Great Lakes Valley Conference to sponsor football). CSU's main athletic rival is Kentucky State University.[8] The athletic director is Jahan Culbreath, a 1992 graduate.


The Central State University Marauder football team experienced much success in Division II and NAIA during the 1980s through 1995 under then head football coaches, William "Billy" Joe (1981 to 1993) and Rick Comegy (1993 to 1996).[8] Under Billy Joe, the Marauders were NCAA Division II runners-up in 1983 and won the NAIA Football National Championship (Division I) in 1990 and 1992.[8] Under Comegy, a former assistant coach under Joe, the Marauders won the NAIA Football National Championship (Division I) in 1995.[8] The heyday of Central State football ended in the late 1990s when the university administration was forced to drop the football program in 1997 due to financial difficulties and a significant drop of enrollment.[9] In 2005, under new administration leadership of president Dr. John W. Garland, Esq, (Class of 1971), the university reinstated the Central State Marauder football program.[8]

Notable Marauder alumni who went on to play in the National Football League include: Vince Heflin, Vince Buck, Erik Williams, Hugh Douglas, Charles Hope Brandon Hayes and Kerwin Waldroup.[8]

Student activities[edit]

Student organizations[edit]

There are approximately 30 student organizations operating on campus. These student organizations are classified under six categories: Academic, Business, Special Interest, Religions, Honorary and Greek letter organizations. The Office of the University Center and Student Development in conjunction with the SGA's Inter organization Committee monitors the recognized student organizations activities.

Student Government Association[edit]

The Student Government Association (SGA) serves as a liaison between the students and the administration, sharing decision making responsibility with the faculty and staff on matters that affect campus life. The SGA also oversees many student activities, represents the student body, and serves as an advisory body.

Greek Letter organizations[edit]

All nine of the National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations currently have chapters at Central State University. These organizations are governed by the Central State University's chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and overseen by the Director of the University Center and Student Development.

OrganizationSymbolChapterChapter Symbol
Alpha Kappa AlphaΑΚΑBeta Xi
Alpha Phi AlphaΑΦΑDelta XiΔΞ
Delta Sigma ThetaΔΣΘDelta KappaΔΚ
Iota Phi ThetaΙΦΘAlpha MuAM
Kappa Alpha PsiΚΑΨDelta ZetaΔΖ
Omega Psi PhiΩΨΦEta GammaΗΓ
Phi Beta SigmaΦΒΣNuN
Sigma Gamma RhoΣΓΡDelta OmegaΔΩ
Zeta Phi BetaΖΦΒChi BetaXB

Marching band[edit]

The Central State University bands are under the direction of Professor Ramon William Key Jr., For many years The Central State University Marching Band has been a Trademark of the University. The bands hard work and dedication are symbols of the great traditions set forth by Central State University since its creation in 1896. The staff and students working in the University’s music department have made great strides in ensuring that the band program has the capability to excel and rise to great heights in the world of HBCU bands. During the past decade alone, the Invincible Marching Marauders have been featured in a movie Alongside comedian Dave Chappelle (Dave Chappelle's Block Party) and have made many appearances; the Honda Battle of The Bands Showcase in Atlanta, Georgia, football classics and NFL performances just to name a few. The band is continuously growing and expanding. Our motto: We perform with P.R.I.D.E, exemplifies the best we have to offer as student musicians

University Chorus[edit]

The Central State University Chorus has twice been nominated for a Grammy Award for its recordings.[4]

Notable alumni[edit]

NameClass yearNotabilityReferences
Hastings Kamuzu BandaFormer President of Malawi
Vince Buck1990Former NFL defensive back for the New Orleans Saints
Wayne A. CauthenFirst African American appointed as City Manager of Kansas City, MO
Clay DixonFormer City Commissioner and Mayor of Dayton, Ohio
Hugh DouglasFormer New York Jets & Philadelphia Eagles Defensive Lineman
Arsenio Hall1992Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree[10]
Vince HeflinFormer NFL wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers
James T. Henry, Sr.First Black Mayor and City

Commissioner of Xenia, Ohio

Charles HopeFormer Green Bay Packers guard
Priest LauderdaleFormer NBA player for the Denver Nuggets and Atlanta Hawks
Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth1996Actress (The Apprentice, Surreal Life)
Kedar MassenbergRecord label executive and producer
Eddie MilnerFormer professional baseball player for the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants
Rob MurphyCurrent head basketball coach at Eastern Michigan University
Leontyne PriceOpera singer
John RoseboroFormer professional baseball player
Teddy SeymourFirst African American to sail around the world solo
John W. Shannon1955United States Under Secretary of the Army, 1989-1993
Jason Thomas9/11 Hero, Keynote Speaker, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, WTC Movie
Kerwin WaldroupFormer NFL defensive end
Erik Williams1991Former Pro Bowl offensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens.
Nancy WilsonJazz Singer
Roland WinburnMember of Ohio House of Representatives


  1. ^ a b c d "History of Central State University". Central State University. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  2. ^ "A Welcome from President John W. Garland". Central State University. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  3. ^ "Accreditations". Central State University. Archived from the original on 2008-05-26. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  4. ^ a b c "About Central State University". Central State University. Archived from the original on 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  5. ^ "Location". Central State University. Archived from the original on 2008-06-30. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  6. ^ "Introduction To Life in the Residence Halls". Central State University. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  7. ^ a b "Department overview". Central State University. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Wright, Branson (September 10, 2011). "Cleveland Classic: Central State hopes it can return to its former glory". Cleveland.com (The Plain Dealer). Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  9. ^ Price, Gilbert (2010). "Central State University growing, but still challenged". Call & Post; All-Ohio edition. 
  10. ^ "Arsenio Hall to get honorary doctorate". The Baltimore Sun. 8 April 1992. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°42′55″N 83°52′41″W / 39.715255°N 83.877971°W / 39.715255; -83.877971