Alcorn State University, located near Lorman, Mississippi, United States, is a public land grant university. It was founded in 1871 as the nation's first state-supported higher education institution for African American students. Alcorn State University is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund.
Alcorn State University was founded on the site originally occupied by the Oakland College, a school for whites established by the Presbyterian Church. Oakland College closed its doors at the beginning of the Civil War so that its students could answer the call to arms. Upon failing to reopen at the end of the war, the property was sold to the state of Mississippi and renamed Alcorn University in honor of James L. Alcorn in 1871, then governor of the state of Mississippi.
The college opened with eight faculty members and 179 students in three buildings on a 225 acre (0.9 km²) campus.
Hiram R. Revels resigned his seat in the United States Senate to become Alcorn's first president. The state legislature provided $50,000 in cash for ten successive years for the establishment and overall operations of the college. The state also granted Alcorn three-fifths of the proceeds earned from the sale of thirty thousand acres (120 km²) of land scrip for agricultural colleges. The land was sold for $188,928 with Alcorn receiving a share of $113,400. This money was to be used solely for the agricultural and mechanical components of the college. From its beginning, Alcorn State University was a land-grant college.
In 1878, the name Alcorn University was changed to Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College. The goals for the college set by the Mississippi legislature clearly emphasized training rather than education. The school, like other black schools during these years, was less a college than a trade school.
At first the school was exclusively for black males but in 1895 women were admitted.
In 1974 Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College became Alcorn State University. Governor William L. Waller signed House Bill 298 granting university status to Alcorn and the other state supported colleges.
Alcorn has had sixteen presidents. Dr. Clinton Bristow, Jr. became president of the university in 1995 and held the post until he suddenly died on August 19, 2006. Dr. Malvin Williams was named Alcorn's interim president after Bristow's death.
Of these, Dr. Walter Washington, who assumed the presidency in 1969, was the longest-tenured president in Alcorn's history. On March 27, 2007, the Mississippi Institution of Higher Learning named George E. Ross Ph.D., CPA, Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services at Central Michigan University as a possible candidate for the presidency. Alcorn officially named Ross as its seventeenth president on April 3, 2007. Dr. Ross was diagnosed in May 2007 with acute leukemia and is being treated at University Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr. George Ross took office on January 2, 2008 as the seventeenth president of Alcorn State University.
The university enrolls over 4,600 full-time and 348 part-time undergraduate students and 175 graduate students. Women outnumber men in a ratio 3:2.
The university is made up of seven schools, offering over 50 different fields of study.
School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences
Department of Agriculture
Bachelor of Science in General Agriculture
Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics
International Agriculture Option
Bachelor of Science in Animal Science
Veterinary Science Option
Bachelor of Science in Plant and Soil Science
Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness Management
Bachelor of Applied Science Education: Agricultural Education Endorsement.
Department of Advanced Technologies
Geographical Information Science and Technology (GIS&T)
Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology
Computer Networking and Information Technology
Robotics and Automation Technology
Department of Human Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
Bachelor of Science in Child Development
School of Arts and Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Biology
Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Pharmacy, and Pre-Medicine
Biology Education Concentration
Environmental Biology/Ecology Concentration
Physical Therapy Concentration
Bachelor of Science in Health Science
Bachelor of Science in Clinical Laboratory Science
Department of Chemistry and Physics
Department of Communications
Department of English and Foreign Languages
Department of Fine Arts
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Mathematics
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Department of Military Sciences
Department of Social Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Economics
Bachelor of Arts in History
History Education Concentration
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Political Science Concentration
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Social Work
Social Work Concentration
Mental Health Concentration
Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
School of Graduate Studies
Master of Arts in Teaching
Master of Business Administration
Master of Business Administration
Hospitality and Gaming Management
Master of Science in Agriculture
Master of Science in Biology
Master of Science in Biotechnology
Master of Science in Computer and Information Science
Master of Science in Nursing
Specialist in Elementary Education
Master of Science in Workforce Educational Leadership
Special Subject Fields (Guidance Education, Health and Physical Education, Special Education )
School of Business
School of Education and Psychology
Department of Education and Psychology
Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation
Health and Physical Education
School of Nursing
Department of Associate Degree Nursing
Department of Baccalaureate Nursing
Department of Graduate Nursing
College for Excellence
The main campus is located near Lorman, Mississippi, while the Nursing School and the Business School's Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is located in Natchez, Mississippi. There is also a Vicksburg, Mississippi site.
The campus includes approximately 80 modern structures with an approximate value of $71 million. Recently completed projects include:
$12 million Dining Commons
5 mi (8.0 km) Bike/Walking Trail
Ecology and Natural Resources Facility
Baseball Stadium construction
Current and planned construction projects include:
School of Business (Dumas Hall) renovations
Fine Arts Renovation
Construction of Residence halls and faculty housing
The African-American trombonist Leon "Pee Wee" Whittaker, a native of Newellton, Louisiana, did not attend Alcorn but studied music under a Professor Smith from there as a child during the 1910s.
American professional football wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League
American professional football quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans of the National Football League
NAACP's first field secretary
Michael Clarke Duncan
Author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family
Defensive Coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings, former Special Assistant coach with the Indianapolis Colts