Virginia State University

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Virginia State University
VSU
VSU seal.png
Motto"Building a Better World"
EstablishedMarch 6, 1882; 131 years ago (1882-03-06)
TypePublic, land-grant, HBCU
Endowment$13.8 million[1]
PresidentDr. Keith T. Miller
Academic staff300
Students6,000
LocationEttrick, Chesterfield County, Virginia, United States
CampusSuburban, 236 acres (95.5 ha)
Former namesVirginia State College for Negroes
ColorsOrange and Blue
         
AthleticsNCAA Division II
NicknameTrojans
AffiliationsCentral Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Websitewww.vsu.edu
 
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Virginia State University
VSU
VSU seal.png
Motto"Building a Better World"
EstablishedMarch 6, 1882; 131 years ago (1882-03-06)
TypePublic, land-grant, HBCU
Endowment$13.8 million[1]
PresidentDr. Keith T. Miller
Academic staff300
Students6,000
LocationEttrick, Chesterfield County, Virginia, United States
CampusSuburban, 236 acres (95.5 ha)
Former namesVirginia State College for Negroes
ColorsOrange and Blue
         
AthleticsNCAA Division II
NicknameTrojans
AffiliationsCentral Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Websitewww.vsu.edu

Virginia State University is a historically black land-grant university located north of the Appomattox River in Ettrick, Chesterfield County, near Petersburg, Virginia. Founded on March 6, 1882 (1882-03-06), Virginia State developed as the United States's first fully state-supported four-year institution of higher learning for black Americans[citation needed]. The university is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

History[edit]

University entrance

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."

—Dr. Robert Russa Moton

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. Meanwhile, the school's two-year branch in Norfolk, founded in 1935, was expanded to a four-year curriculum and renamed Norfolk State College. Following additional expansion of programs, it is now Norfolk State University.

The third season of BET's reality television series College Hill was filmed at Virginia State University in 2006.

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.

Main campus[edit]

Library

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.[2]

Campus 2006

Residence halls[edit]

Academics[edit]

This is a list of the departments within each school:[4]

The university also has the Office for International Education and the Institute for Study of Race Relations.

Demographics[edit]

The 2009–2010 student body was 62.2% female and 37.5% male.[5] It consists of 69.7% in-state and 30.3% out-of-state students.[5] 97.2% of students live on campus and 2.8% off-campus.[5] 91.1% of students self-identify as Black/African American, while 4.0% are White, and 4.0% are racially unreported.

The Woo Woos in 1977...
... and in 2007

Student activities[edit]

Greek Life[edit]

Virginia State University has a very active National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) which include the following active fraternities and sororities:

Marching band[edit]

Directed by Interim Director Mr. James Holden Jr., the VSU Trojan Explosion has approximately 80 members including the Essence of Troy Dancers, The Satin Divas Flag Corps, The Troy Elegance Baton Twirling Squad in addition to the instrumentalists. [6]

Cheerleading[edit]

Originally led by head coach Dr. 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 Dr. Johnson. Now the squad is led by former Woo Woo, Cassandra Artis-Williams as she continues to carry on the legacy of the world renowned Virginia State University Woo Woos.[7]

Notable alumni[edit]

Alumna Camilla Williams, first African American to get a contract from a major American opera company (namesake of Taylor-Williams Hall at the university)

This list includes graduates, non-graduate former students and current students of Virginia State University.

NameClass yearNotabilityReferences
Gaye Adegbalola1978Blues singer and civil rights activist
James AveryActor
Joe Bonnerjazz pianist[8]
Herman Branson1936African American physicist, best known for his research on the alpha helix protein structure[9]
Dr.Rovenia M. BrockNutritionist, lecturer, health reporter, entrepreneur, and author[10]
Al BumbryMajor League Baseball[11]




Larry Brooks1971former NFL defensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams and current assistant coach of the Virginia State Trojans football team
James Brownformer NFL player
Pamela E. Bridgewaterformer U.S. Ambassador to Ghana and current U.S. ambassador to Jamaica
Myles "Ray" Cunningham2006one of eight cast members on season 3 of BET's College Hill reality series[12]
Rosalyn Dance1986politician, Member of the Virginia House of Delegates

from the 63rd district

[13]
Das EFXattendedrap group
Silas DeMary1993Arena Football League player[14]
Wale FolarinDC Rapper (transferred to Bowie State University)
Roger L. Gregory1975Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit[15]
Aaron Hallattendedmember of the Music Group Guy
Damion Hallattendedmember of the Music Group Guy



Delores G. Kelley1956member of Maryland State Senate, representing Maryland's District 10 in Baltimore County, Maryland
Reginald LewisBusinessman; owner of TLC Beatrice International
William H. Lewisc. 1890former United States Assistant Attorney General
Naomi Long Madgett1945teacher 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[16]
Thomas Millerprolific 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.[17]
Héctor Martínez Muñozfirst member of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico
Dr.James H. Stith1963African-American physicist and current professor of Physics at Ohio State University[18]
Roslyn Tylerpolitician, Member of the Virginia House of Delegates

from the 75th district

Billy TaylorJazz musician
Camilla Williams1941First African-American to receive a contract from a major American opera company
Avis Wyatt2007?Professional basketball player

References[edit]

  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 5, 2010. 
  2. ^ "About VSU". Virginia State University. Retrieved 1 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Residence Halls". Virginia State University. Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ Schools[dead link]
  5. ^ a b c "General Characteristics of Headcount Enrollment". Retrieved 2010-01-21. [dead link]
  6. ^ The Trojan Explosion[dead link]
  7. ^ Woo Woos[dead link]
  8. ^ "Joe Bonner at All About Jazz". allaboutjazz.com. Retrieved 2011-01-26. 
  9. ^ "The Protein Papers". pnas.org. Retrieved 2011-01-26. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Everything Dr Ro". everythingro.com. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  11. ^ "Al Bumbry Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Ray Cunninham from BET's College HIll". about.com. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  13. ^ "Rosalyn Dance Virginia House of Delegates". state.va.us. Retrieved 2011-01-25. 
  14. ^ "Silas Demary". www.arenafan.com. Arena Fan. Retrieved August 28, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Roger L. Gregory". 
  16. ^ "Poet Laureate Naomi Long Madgett". naomilongmadgett.com. Retrieved 2011-01-26. 
  17. ^ "Thomas Miller Biography". thehistorymakers.com. Retrieved 2011-01-26. 
  18. ^ "James Stith Physicist of African Diaspora". math.buffalo.edu. Retrieved 2011-01-26. 

External links[edit]