Originally named the National Religious Training School and Chautauqua for the Colored Race, NCCU was founded by Dr. James E. Shepard, a pharmacist and religious educator. The institution was chartered in 1909 and opened its doors to students in 1910. In the following years, the school’s name became the National Training School in 1915, Durham State Normal School in 1923, North Carolina College for Negroes in 1925 (when it became the nation’s first state-supported liberal arts college for African-American students), North Carolina College at Durham in 1947, and finally North Carolina Central University in 1969. NCCU has been a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina System since 1972.
The mission of the university is to prepare students academically and professionally to become leaders prepared to advance the consciousness of social responsibility in a diverse, global society. The university will serve its traditional clientele of African-American students; it will also expand its commitment to meet the educational needs of a student body that is diverse in race and other socioeconomic qualities.
- For more than 100 years, the university has educated the citizens of North Carolina, the United States and the world.
- Washington Monthly ranks NCCU in the top 40 in the nation for contributions to the public good.
- A National Jurist Publication ranked our School of Law as one of the top 5 in America in providing clinical opportunities to its students.
- With both a biomanufacturing and a biomedical research institute, NCCU is emerging as a leader in the study of health disparities. We offer hands-on laboratory experience in collaboration with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies based in Research Triangle Park and elsewhere across the state.
- NCCU’s award-winning marching band, the Marching Sound Machine, was selected to perform on New Year’s Day 2011 in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif.
- True to our motto of Truth and Service, NCCU was the first of North Carolina’s state-supported universities to require community service for graduation. Last year, NCCU students performed nearly 200,000 hours of service valued at $2.7 million to the Durham and regional economy.
- NCCU recently joined NCAA Division I athletic competition as a returning member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).