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Alcorn State University
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Alcorn State University

Address : 1000 Asu Drive Ste 359 , Alcorn State , Mississippi
Phone : +1 (601) 877 6100
Fax : +1 (601) 877 2975
Zip Code : 39096-7500 

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Alcorn State University

Established: 1871
Type: Public, HBCU
President: Dr. George Ross, Ph.D
Students: 3,668
Location: Lorman, Mississippi,
United States
Campus: 1,700 acres (6.9 km²)
Colors: Purple and Gold
Nickname: Braves; Alcorn A's

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.[1] 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
      • Forestry Option
      • Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness Management
      • Bachelor of Applied Science Education: Agricultural Education Endorsement.
    • Department of Advanced Technologies
      • Applied Science
      • Geographical Information Science and Technology (GIS&T)
      • Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology
      • Health Physics
      • Computer Networking and Information Technology
      • Robotics and Automation Technology
      • Pre-Engineering
    • 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-Professional Program
      • 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
      • Chemistry
      • Biochemistry
      • Chemical Physics
      • Chemistry Education
    • Department of Communications
      • Broadcast Journalism
      • Print Journalism
    • Department of English and Foreign Languages
      • Literature
      • English Education
      • Professional Writing
    • Department of Fine Arts
      • Music Education
      • Performance
    • Department of Mathematical Sciences
      • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics
      • Mathematics
      • Mathematics Education
      • 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 Concentration
      • History Education Concentration
      • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
      • Political Science Concentration
      • Pre-Law Concentration
      • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Social Work
      • Sociology Concentration
      • 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
      • Agronomy
      • Animal Science
      • Agricultural Economics
      • 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
      • Master of Science in Education
      • Elementary Education (Early Childhood Education, Reading)
      • Secondary Education (Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, English, Mathematics, Nutrition, Science, Social Science)
      • Special Subject Fields (Guidance Education, Health and Physical Education, Special Education )
  • School of Business
      • Accounting
      • Business Administration
  • School of Education and Psychology
    • Department of Education and Psychology
      • Elementary Education
      • Special Education
      • Psychology
      • General Studies
    • Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation
      • Health and Physical Education
      • Recreation
      • Sports Medicine
  • 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
  • Biotechnology Facility
  • 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

Notable alumni

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.
Name Class year Notability Reference
Donald Driver American professional football wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League
Steve McNair American professional football quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans of the National Football League
Medgar Evers NAACP's first field secretary
Michael Clarke Duncan Actor
Alex Haley Author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family
Leslie Frazier Defensive Coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings, former Special Assistant coach with the Indianapolis Colts
Louis Green 2002 NFL player for the Denver Broncos
Alexander O'Neal R&B, soul musician
Larry Smith Retired NBA player and assistant WNBA coach.
Kimberly Morgan Miss Mississippi 2007
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