Historical Statement

Since 1891, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has maintained a tradition of excellence in education and continues to thrive as it sustains its rich history. A&T was established as a “mechanical college” for the “Colored Race” under the Second Morrill Act, passed by the United States Congress on August 30, 1890. The First Morrill Act, passed in 1862 and also known as the Land Grant College Act, ceded land to each state to establish institutions of higher learning to educate people primarily in agriculture, home economics and mechanical arts. A&T and the other 1890 land-grant institutions were created by the Second Morrill Act, which expanded the system of land-grant colleges and universities to include an historically black institution in those states where segregation denied minorities’ access to the land-grant institution established by the First Morrill Act.

So as not to forfeit federal money for A. and M. College (now North Carolina State University) the North Carolina General Assembly created a college for its black citizens as an annex of Shaw University in Raleigh. On March 9, 1891, the General Assembly established A. and M. College for the Colored Race and sought a permanent home. The Board of Trustees, whose members performed the duties of the president, made it known that they were looking for a permanent site for the college. Six North Carolina cities, including Greensboro, made a bid for A. and M. The trustees selected Greensboro based on a proposal promising 14 acres of land and $11,000 in cash to be used for building and organizing the A. and M. College. Today, N.C. A&T is a public land-grant university that is ranked by the Carnegie Classification System as “doctoral/research university”. It is located in Greensboro, N.C. on over 200 beautiful acres and has an enrollment of more than 10,500 students and workforce of over 1,900 employees.

The university is a learner-centered community that develops and preserves intellectual capital through interdisciplinary learning, discovery, engagement and operational excellence. This unique institution is committed to fulfilling its fundamental purposes through exemplary undergraduate and graduate instruction, scholarly and creative research and effective public service. A&T offers 57 undergraduate degree programs with 104 concentrations, 30 master's degree programs with 53 concentrations, and Ph.D. degrees in computational science and engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, energy and environmental systems, industrial and systems engineering, leadership studies, computer science, rehabilitation counseling and rehabilitation counselor education and nanoengineering. The academic programs are offered through the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Economics, School of Education, School of Technology, College of Engineering, School of Nursing, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering; and School of Graduate Studies. With funding from a $161 million bond project A&T has been transformed into one of the premier 21st century campuses in the United States with modernized state of the art academic buildings and residence halls.

A&T continues to produce the best and the brightest students and is proud of its over 30,000 alumni of record, who maintain leadership positions throughout the world. They exemplify the Aggie mystique all over the nation, continuing to strive for excellence and to make their imprint in society. Among A&T's well-known alumni are the late astronaut, Dr. Ronald E. McNair; the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., civil rights activist; U.S. Congressman Edolphus Towns (D-NY); the late Major General Charles D. Bussey; Brigadier General Clara Adams-Ender; Major General Hawthorne L. Proctor; former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Henry E. Frye; John W. Mack, retired president, Los Angeles Urban League; Janice Bryant Howroyd, founder and chief executive officer of Act. 1 Group; Ralph Shelton, founder of Southeast Fuels; Dr. Joe Dudley, Sr., founder of Dudley Products, Inc.; Alvin Attles, vice president of Golden State Warriors; District Court Judge Lawrence McSwain (retired); U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-ILL); North Carolina legislator Alma Adams; and The Greensboro Four (A&T Four), Jibreel Khazan, Joseph McNeil, the Franklin McCain and the late David Richmond.

The primary strength of the University is its outstanding student body, carefully selected from thousands of applicants annually. Once on campus, the over 10,500 students are taught and mentored by an excellent faculty, the majority of whom have earned doctoral or other terminal degrees from some of the nation's most prestigious graduate and professional schools.

A&T graduates the largest number of African-American engineers at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels and psychology undergraduates in the nation. Through its nationally accredited AACSB School of Business and Economics, the institution is among the largest producers of African American certified public accountants. True to its heritage, North Carolina A&T is home to the largest agricultural school among HBCUs and the second largest producer of minority agricultural graduates. The institution was recently awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation's Engineering Research Center (ERC) grant for biomedical engineering and nano-bio applications research.

The University has advanced to the forefront in the area of research. It constantly ranked third in the UNC System in terms of research funding. Since the fiscal year 2008-09, A&T generated over $50 million in sponsored programs each year and more than $6 million in appropriations for agricultural research and cooperative extension. It also generates contracts with major international companies, foundations, and federal agencies to secure funding to enhance academic programs and to provide student scholarships.

The research enterprise continually demonstrates its strength and potential by sustaining major programs in nanotechnology, biotechnology, computational science and engineering, energy and environment, information sciences and technology, leadership and community development, logistics and transportation systems and public health.

Twelve presidents/chancellors have served this historic University since it was founded. They are Dr. John 0. Crosby, (1892-1896); Dr. James B. Dudley, (1896-1925); Dr. Ferdinand D. Bluford, (1925-1955); Dr. Warmoth T. Gibbs, (1956-1960); Dr. Samuel DeWitt Proctor, (1960-1964); Dr. Lewis C. Dowdy, (1964­1980); Dr. Cleon Thompson, Jr., (1980-1981 - interim); Dr. Edward B. Fort, (1981-1999); Dr. James C. Renick, (1999-2006), Dr. Lloyd V. Hackley (2006-2007),  Dr. Stanley F. Battle (2007-2009), and Dr. Harold L. Martin, Sr. (2009-present).