North Carolina Central University

North Carolina Central University
North Carolina Central University
Motto Truth and Service
Established 1910
Type Public, HBCU
Chancellor Charlie Nelms
Academic staff 390 full time, 259 part time[1]
Students 8,612
Location Durham, North Carolina,
United States
Campus Urban
Former names National Religious Training School and Chautauqua
National Training School
Durham State Normal School
North Carolina College for Negroes
North Carolina College at Durham
Colors Maroon and Gray
Athletics NCAA Division I
Nickname Eagle
Affiliations Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
North Carolina Central University
North Carolina Central University is located in North Carolina
Location: Bounded by Lawson St., Alston Ave., Nelson, and Fayette Sts., Durham, North Carolina
Coordinates: 35°42′15″N 78°54′25″W / 35.70417°N 78.90694°W / 35.70417; -78.90694Coordinates: 35°42′15″N 78°54′25″W / 35.70417°N 78.90694°W / 35.70417; -78.90694
Built: 1928
Architect: Atwood & Nash; Public Works Administration
Architectural style: Colonial Revival, Georgian Revival
Governing body: State
MPS: Durham MRA
NRHP Reference#:


Added to NRHP: March 28, 1986

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) is a public historically black university in the University of North Carolina system, located in Durham, North Carolina, offering programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, professional and doctoral levels.



James E. Shepard President 1909–1947
Alfonso Elder President 1948–1963
Samuel P. Massie President 1963–1966
Albert N. Whiting President
LeRoy T. Walker Chancellor 1983–1986
Tyronza R. Richmond Chancellor 1986–1992
Donna J. Benson Chancellor 1992–1993
Julius L. Chambers Chancellor 1993–2001
James H. Ammons Chancellor 2001–2007
Beverly Washington Jones Chancellor 2007–2007
Charlie Nelms Chancellor 2007–pres

North Carolina Central University was founded by James E. Shepard as the National Religious Training School and Chautauqua in the Hayti District . It was chartered in 1909 as a private institution and opened on July 5, 1910. Along with other progressives, future U.S. President Woodrow Wilson contributed small private support for the school's founding.[3] The school was sold and reorganized in 1915, becoming the National Training School, and supported by Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage of New York. In this capacity, it supported Black teacher development in the Jim Crow era, a time when funding and support for Black education was severely limited. It became a taxpayer-funded institution in 1923, and was renamed Durham State Normal School. In 1925, it was renamed the North Carolina College for Negroes, the nation's only state-supported liberal arts college for black students.[4] Shepard lobbied the North Carolina General Assembly for support of college; when traveling to lobby the legislature, Shepard traveled by car since the train to Raleigh was divided into segregated sections.[4] Its first four-year college class graduated in 1929.

The college was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools as an “A” class institution in 1937 and was admitted to membership in 1957. Graduate courses in the School of Arts and Sciences were added in 1939, in the School of Law in 1940, and in the School of Library Science in 1941. In 1947, the General Assembly changed the name of the institution to North Carolina College at Durham.

On October 6, 1947, Shepard, the founder and president, died, and was succeeded in 1948 by Alfonso Elder. Elder remained with the institution until he retired September 1, 1963. Samuel P. Massie was appointed as the third president on August 9, 1963, and resigned on February 1, 1966. On July 1, 1967, Albert N. Whiting assumed his duties as president until his retirement June 30, 1983.

The 1969 General Assembly designated the institution as one of the State's regional universities, and the name was changed to North Carolina Central University. Since 1972, NCCU has been a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina system. On July 1, 1972, the state’s four-year colleges and universities were joined to become The Consolidated University of North Carolina, with 16 individual campuses, headed by a single president and governed by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. However, each campus was led by a separate chancellor and a campus-specific Board of Trustees.[5]

Whiting was succeeded by LeRoy T. Walker as chancellor, followed by Tyronza R. Richmond, Dr. Donna J. Benson, Julius L. Chambers (who had previously been director-counsel (chief executive) of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund), James H. Ammons, and on August 1, 2007, Charlie Nelms.

Issues concerning degree accreditation

In 2008, it was disclosed that the university had, since 2004, been operating a small satellite campus at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, whose pastor, Bishop Eddie L. Long, is a member of the University Board of Trustees.[6][7] The accreditor refused to recognize the degrees awarded to the 25 students who attended the program.[8][9]


The campus is located about a mile south of downtown Durham, North Carolina and about three miles east of Duke University. The campus is on the National Register of Historic Places.


NCCU is a part of the UNC System. The campus is governed by a thirteen member Board of Trustees. Eight Trustees are elected by the UNC System‘s Board of Governors, and four are appointed by the Governor. The president of the Student Government Association also serves as an ex-officio member. The Board elects its officers annually and meets five times per year.[10] As of 2011, NCCU had a total of 8,587 students, (full and part-time) including 5396 full-time undergraduate and 1233 full-time graduate students. Sixty-four percent are women and 36 percent are men. Eighty-five percent are African-American, 6 percent are white, and 2 percent are Hispanic.[11] As of 2007. NCCU had a student faculty ratio of 13:1.[1]



  • US News and World Reports #1 Public HBCU
  • US News and World Reports #11 HBCU
  • US News and World Reports #36 Public University in the South Region
  • US News and World Reports #55 Masters level University

In 2005, NCCU was No. 1 among HBCU in North Carolina in the recruitment of National Achievement Scholars and a leader among all institutions in the state trailing Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[citation needed]


  • College of Behavioral & Social Sciences
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • College of Science & Technology


  • School of Business (AACSB)
  • School of Education
  • School of Law
  • School of Library & Information Sciences
  • School of Nursing

Research Institutes at NCCU

NCCU in conjunction with the African American Jazz Caucus sponsors a Jazz Research Institute which conducts an annual Summer Jazz Festival and offers a program in Jazz Studies.[12]

  • Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute
  • Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise

Additional programs

  • Continuing Education
  • Evening & Weekend Degree Program

Student activities

Student organizations

North Carolina Central University has 130 registered student organizations and 12 honor societies.


NCCU sponsors fourteen men’s and women’s sports teams that participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I as a newly readmitted member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Athletic teams include football, softball, baseball, basketball, track and field, tennis, volleyball, bowling, and golf.


Marching band

The North Carolina Central University Marching Band known as the Marching Sound Machine was one of two bands selected from North Carolina to participate in the 2011 Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, CA.

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability References
Sunshine Anderson singer
Herman Boone former high school football coach, profiled in the motion picture Remember the Titans
Frank Ballance 1963 former member of the U.S. House of Representatives

(North Carolina 1st district)

Ernie Barnes artist and former professional football player
Larry Black Olympic track & field gold and silver medalist
Dan Blue multiple African-American "firsts": North Carolina Speaker of the House; president of National Conference of State Legislatures
Julia Boseman 1992 Senator (North Carolina)
Jim Brewington former professional football player
Wanda G. Bryant 1982 North Carolina Court of Appeals jurist
G.K. Butterfield Congressman and former Associate Justice, North Carolina Supreme Court
Phonte Coleman singer
Kim Coles comedian and actress
Julius L. Chambers 1958 lawyer, civil rights leader, and educator. Founded the first integrated law firm in North Carolina
Eva M. Clayton former member of the U.S. House of Representatives (North Carolina's 1st district)
Lee Davis 1968 former professional basketball player, 1-time ABA all-star [13]
Ivan Dixon 1954 actor
Walter Douglas 1958 CEO, Avis Ford
Mike Easley 1976 former Governor of North Carolina
Rick Elmore 1982 North Carolina Court of Appeals jurist
Kevin Foy Mayor, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Willie E. Gary 1974 attorney, motivational speaker and cable television executive
George Hamilton Sr. President, Dow Automotive
Charles "Tex" Harrison former Harlem Globetrotters coach and player
Bill Hayes 1965 former head football coach at Winston Salem State University and North Carolina A&T State University; current athletic director at Winston-Salem State University
Audwin Helton 1981 President and CEO, Spatial Data Integrations, Inc.
Maynard Jackson 1964 first black mayor of Atlanta, Georgia
Gene C. Jarmon General Counsel, Texas Department of Insurance
Sam Jones NBA Hall of Famer
Vernon Jones politician and former chief executive officer of Dekalb County, Georgia
Eleanor Kinnaird Member of the North Carolina Senate (23rd district)
Clarence Lightner First black mayor of Raleigh, N.C.
Bishop Eddie Long Senior Pastor, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Lithonia, Georgia
Jeanne Lucas First black elected to the North Carolina Senate
Crystal Gail Mangum Dancer and former student connected to Duke Lacrosse case
Robert Massey 1989 former professional football player and current defensive coordinator at Shaw University
Henry "Mickey" Michaux member of the North Carolina House of Representatives (31st district)
LeVelle Moton 1996 former professional basketball player
Greg Peterson 2007 former professional football player
Charles Romes 1977 former professional football player
Dr. Leon Rouson 1983 former National Black Teacher of the Year
Rashaun D. Rucker National Emmy winning photojournalist, 1st African-American to be named Michigan Press Photographer of the Year
Julius Sang former Summer Olympics track athlete
Evelyn Smalls 1967 President and CEO, United Bank of Philadelphia
Jason Smoots 2003 professional track athlete
James Speed 1975 President and CEO, North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company
André Leon Talley Editor-at-Large, Vogue Magazine
Cressie Thigpen 1968 North Carolina Court of Appeals jurist
Dr. Earlie Thorpe 1948 prominent historian, educator
Doug Wilkerson former professional football player
Paul Winslow former professional football player
Arenda L. Wright Allen 1985 judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
Yahzarah attended singer
David Young former professional basketball player


  1. ^ a b "Eagle Facts in Brief: 2007- 2008". Retrieved 2010-11-13. 
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  3. ^ James Edward Shepard to Woodrow Wilson, October 2, 1909, in Arthur S. Link, ed., The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, Volume 19, pp. 399-400.
  4. ^ a b Channing, Steven (2009-04-01). "John Hope Franklin, 1915-2009". Independent Weekly. 
  5. ^ "Board of Trustees". Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  6. ^ "NCCU operated Atlanta campus: UNC system never approved branch run near Atlanta". Raleigh News & Observer. 
  7. ^ "State University in North Carolina Had Unauthorized Satellite Campus in Georgia". Chronicle of Higher Education. 2008-08-10. 
  8. ^ Quinn, Christopher (2008-08-11). "25 students got no-good degrees from New Birth campus". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 
  9. ^ "SACS Official Casts Doubt on Degrees Awarded by Unaccredited Campus". Chronicle of Higher Education. 
  10. ^ "About the Board". NCCU. Retrieved 2010-11-13. 
  11. ^ "North Carolina Central University College Portrait". Retrieved 2010-11-13. 
  12. ^ "NAJRI: NCCU AAJC Research Institute". NCCU. Retrieved 2010-11-13. 
  13. ^ "Lee Davis Statistics". Sports Reference, LLC. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 

External links

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