SC State University was established to provide higher education opportunities for African Americans in South Carolina in the late 19th century.
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South Carolina State University (SCSU) was established in 1896 as a land-grant college for African Americans in the state of South Carolina. Its establishment was a response to the lack of educational opportunities for African Americans in the state during the post-Civil War era. The institution was originally named as the Colored Normal, Industrial, Agricultural, and Mechanical College of South Carolina, with the purpose of providing teachers for the state’s African American population.
According to the official website of SCSU, the university’s mission is “to provide quality undergraduate and graduate instruction to students from diverse backgrounds with emphasis on African Americans. The University also serves as a leader in economic development and as a resource for community services in the region.”
In the words of the former SCSU President, Dr. Thomas A. Elzey, “South Carolina State University is critical to the future of higher education in this state and nation. It is a cornerstone of our past, present, and future.”
Interesting facts about South Carolina State University:
- SCSU is the only public, historically black university in South Carolina.
- The university has produced several notable alumni, including civil rights leader and politician Jesse Jackson, astronaut Ronald McNair, and NFL football player Harry Carson.
- The university’s marching band, known as the “Marching 101,” has performed at several prestigious events, including several presidential inaugurations and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
- SCSU’s library is home to the largest collection of documents related to the civil rights movement in South Carolina, and the university is a frequent destination for researchers studying African American history and culture.
- The university has faced financial difficulties in recent years, leading to budget cuts and a decline in enrollment. However, efforts are currently underway to revitalize the institution and ensure its continued success in providing higher education opportunities for African Americans in South Carolina.
| Established | 1896 |
| Type | Public, Historically Black University |
| Location | Orangeburg, South Carolina |
| Mascot | Bulldogs |
| Colors | Garnet and Blue |
| President | Dr. James E. Clark |
| Notable Alumni | Jesse Jackson, Ronald McNair, Harry Carson |
| Student Enrollment | Approximately 2,500 |
| Campus Size | 160 acres |
| Academic Programs | Over 40 undergraduate and graduate programs |
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Located in Orangeburg, S.C., SC State was founded as a land grant college with a mission of providing education and service to the citizens of the state. In its first century, SC State was a leader in education and continues to lead the way into the next century.
Founded in 1896 as the state’s sole public college for black youth, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY has played a key role in the education of African-Americans in the state and nation. As a land-grant institution, it struggled to provide agricultural and mechanical training to generations of black youngsters.
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The 2023 South Carolina State University Commencement saw graduates being congratulated for their hard work and dedication, with speakers highlighting the support of loved ones and the challenges faced during the global pandemic. The importance of social justice and human dignity was emphasized, with the need to inspire future generations and lead with humility being stressed. The university also conferred an honorary degree upon Colonel retired Alexander Conyers for his long-standing service to the university. Dr. Jay Gotti Sabu was named the 2023 professor of the year, and the Golden Anniversary Class of 1973 was recognized for their presence at the commencement.
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|Former name||Colored Normal Industrial Agricultural and Mechanical College of South Carolina (1896–1954) South Carolina State College (1954–1992)|
|Established||March 4, 1896|
|Endowment||$4.5 million (2015)|
The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) was approved by the Commission on Higher Education and accreditation visits for engineering technology and social work were conducted. Also, the Institution was designated South Carolina State University on February 26, 1992.