Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University

Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University

Infobox University
name = Alabama A&M University
native_name = Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University

image_size = 150px
caption = Alabama A&M University logo
latin_name =
motto = "Service is Sovereignty"
mottoeng =
established = 1875
closed =
type = Public, HBCU
affiliation =
endowment =
officer_in_charge =
chairman =
chancellor =
president = Dr. Beverly Edmond (interim)
vice-president =
superintendent =
provost =
vice_chancellor =
rector =
principal =
dean =
director =
head_label =
head =
faculty =
staff =
students =
undergrad = 5,047
postgrad = 1,000
doctoral =
other =
city = Normal
state = Alabama
province =
country =
United States
coor = coord|34.784643|N|86.569950|W|type:edu|display=inline,title
campus = Suburban, 880 acres
former_names =
free_label =
free =
sports =
colors = Maroon and White
color box|maroon color box|white
colours =
nickname = Bulldogs or Lady Bulldogs
mascot =
athletics = NCAA Division I FCS
affiliations = Southwestern Athletic Conference
website = []

footnotes =

Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, also known as Alabama A&M University or AAMU, is an accredited public, historically black university, Land-grant university located in Normal, Madison County, Alabama. ref|| AAMU is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund.


Alabama A&M was established under the terms of the Morrill Act of 1890.

One of its most influential and longest-serving presidents was its fourth, Joseph Fanning Drake, who served from 1927 until 1962. Drake's appointment request by the legislature was made when he was previously Dean of the College at Alabama State College in Montgomery, Alabama.

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 1931, Miss Lucille A. Love, a graduate of the Library School at Hampton Institute, became the first professional librarian.

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 structure now housing over 400,000 volumes, digital research sources and other student oriented services.

Historical Milestones & Events by Year

1873: A bill was approved in the Alabama State Legislature for the establishment of the "Colored Normal School at Huntsville", a school to be devoted to the education of black teachers.

1875: Peyton Finley introduced twin bills in the State Board of Education for the establishment of four "normal" schools for whites and four for blacks. William Hooper Councill became founder of Alabama A&M University. On May 1, the school at Huntsville opened with a state appropriation of $1,000, 61 pupils, and two teachers. The school's first location was on Clinton Street.

1878: The state appropriation increased to $2,000.

1881: 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."

1882: Shop courses were introduced into the curriculum in the fall (e.g., carpentry, printing, mattress-making, horticulture, sewing, etc.)

1883: Industrial training began.

1884: Property on West Clinton Street was deeded to the State of Alabama by trustees.

1885: Name changed to State Normal and Industrial School of Huntsville; state appropriation increased to $4,000; building erected for industrial training through $1,000 grant from the Slater Fund.

1890: Students numbered 300; teachers, 11. Designated as a land-grant college of Alabama. School site became known as Normal, Alabama, and a post office was established. Students were called "Normalites."

1891: Designated a land-grant college through legislative enactment February 13. On September 30, the present site of 182.73 acres (739,000 m²) was purchased. The school expanded to include agriculture and home economics; Palmer (named for State Superintendent Solomon Palmer) and (Governor Thomas) Seay Halls were built with student labor.

1893: First night school was held. First alumni meeting held.

1894: Trade education diplomas authorized. First trade certificates were awarded (10).

1896: Name changed to The State Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes.

1897: Art Painting Department added to curriculum.

1901: First honorary degree awarded.

1903: Blues great W.C. Handy leaves as band director.

1909: School's motto, "Service is Sovereignty," introduced; Councill died at age 61. Walter Solomon Buchanan became president. Farmers' Conference began.

1910: American football began.

1911: McCormick (Hospital) Hall and Councill Domestic Science Building erected.

1912: First baseball game.

1920: President Buchanan resigns, disillusioned with the state's stance toward the overall betterment of the institution. Theophilus Robert Parker became third president.

1927: Joseph Fanning Drake becomes fourth president and institutes a massive building program.

1929: Construction of Bibb Graves Hall.

1939: State Board of Education gives authority to offer course work on the senior college level.

1949: Name changed to Alabama A&M College.

1962: Richard David Morrison became the fifth president.

1963: AAMU becomes fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

1965: Intercollegiate soccer began.

1969: State Board of Education adopts a resolution changing the name of the institution to Alabama A&M University.

1970: Office of Alumni Affairs established. Phillip L. Redrick became first director.

1975: University observed Centennial. Elmore Health Sciences Building constructed.

1977: Volleyball for women began.

1981: Desegregation case began.

1984: Dr. Douglas Covington became AAMU's sixth president.

1985: AAMU signs memorandum of understanding with Kansas State University/USAID.

1986: Former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm addressed "Women's Week" activities. University announced approval of Ph.D. program in physics. Department of Mathematics received NASA research grant.

1987: Dr. Carl Harris Marbury was named interim president.

1989: Carl Harris Marbury becomes seventh president.

1990: The University holds its first Grand Reunion, initiated by Dr. Carl Harris Marbury and Georgia S. Valrie, Director of Alumni Affairs.

1991: Board of Trustees named Dr. Alan Lee Keyes Interim President.

1992: Dr. David Bernard Henson becomes eighth president. First AAMU Athletic Hall of Fame induction held.

1994: Mamie Labon Foster Student Living/Learning Complex erected. First African-American Ph.D. recipients in physics. University's SACS accreditation reaffirmed.

1995: Groundbreaking held for new School of Business facility; stadium and residence hall construction begins. Master of Social Work Program accepts first students. Dr. Virginia Caples, vice president for academic affairs, becomes the first woman to head (interim) the University in the school's 120-year history.

1996: Dr. John T. Gibson named ninth president in July. AAMU launches Councill Challenge Campaign. Football returns to campus at the new $10 Million Louis Crews Stadium.


1998: Ryan Swain makes USA Today All-USA Academic First Team. Nobel Laureate series begins under coordination of AAMU physicist Ravi B. Lal.

1999: AAMU Research Institute started.

2000: AAMU observes its 125th anniversary celebration in January.

2001: AAMU’s fundraising efforts earn it the distinction of lead institution in the Tom Joyner Foundation/HBCU program. Accreditation announced and earth work begins on new School of Engineering and Technology; library renovations underway; athletic complex expands.

2002: Learning Resources Center renovations completed. Engineering and Technology building erected. Social Work re-accredited. Forestry gains national accreditation. Normal Hill renovations extensive. Councill Challenge Campaign goal reached.

2003: New School of Engineering and Technology Building opens for classes in January. Mary Frances Berry addresses Commencement. Fourth doctoral program in Reading/Literacy announced. AAMU researchers study volcanic ash in Montserrat. HSCaRS hosts study on interaction between land surface and the atmosphere. AAMU offers training on multimillion dollar EDS software. Normalite Ruben Studdard named “American Idol.”

2004: Councill Federal Credit Union celebrates 50th anniversary. Councill Memorial Statue unveiled in October. AAMU welcomes its 7th Nobel Laureate lecturer in physics.

2005: The men's basketball team won its first SWAC regular season and tournament Championship.

2006: The football team won its first SWAC Championship.

2007: The Alabama A&M University Choir became the first HBCU Choir to be invited to attend the American Choral Festival in Germany

2008: Dr. Robert Jennings was relieved of his duties as president of AAMU on March 31.

Recent Events & Modern History

Dr. Robert R. Jennings was the most recent president of AAMU, serving from January 2006 through March 2008; he was the 10th president in the institution's history. The AAMU Board of Trustees removed him from office in response to allegations that he hired an unqualified person to serve as his executive assistant and paid that person to attend graduate classes out of state, during his regular work schedule. Other charges, as of yet unsubstantiated, have been made against Jennings that he interfered with the grading process on behalf of some students. The catalyst of the board's action was an investigative report conducted by Huntsville television station WAFF that revealed the financial issues in the summer of 2007. [ [ Jennings plans court action against firing by A&M - Breaking News from The Huntsville Times - ] ]

In late April, AAMU named University provost Dr. Beverly Edmond interim president. [ [ A&M provost to lead school during search- ] ]

In 2002, a renovation added over 15,000 square feet (1,400 m²), an interactive Distance Learning Auditorium, conference, study and class rooms, lounges, computer lab and much more. The LRC provides services to a diverse clientele at numerous locations to university members and the community.

On January 2, 2006 the Alabama A&M University marching band, known as the Marching Maroon and White-Showband of the South, marched in the Pasadena, California Tournament of Roses Parade. They were first in the lineup. In May 2008, the Alabama A&M University Choir was slated to participate in the American Choral Music Festival in Leipzig, Germany.

tudent activities


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, soccer, 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.


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

Notable alumni


Additional reading

# Morrison, Richard David. "History of Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University": 1875-1992. Huntsville, Ala. : Liberal Arts Press, c1994.
# cite web | title=Results | url= | accessmonthday=23 November | accessyear=2005
# cite web | title=Historically Black Colleges and Universities | url= | accessmonthday=23 November | accessyear=2005
# cite web | title=WJAB Jazz & Blues!! | url= | accessmonthday=23 November | accessyear=2005 Saintjones, Jerome (2006). Publications. Office of Information and Public Relations, Alabama A&M University, Normal, Ala.

External links

* [] Official web site
* [] Alabama Cooperative Extension System (university's primary outreach organization)

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