Tuskegee University

Last updated
Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University seal.svg
MottoScientia Principatus Opera
Motto in English
Knowledge, Leadership, Service
Type Private, HBCU, Land-grant
EstablishedJuly 4, 1881 (1881-07-04)
Founder Booker T. Washington
Academic affiliations
Endowment $130.2 million (2014)
President Lily McNair
Students3,140 (2017) [2]
Location, ,
United States

32°25′48.76″N85°42′27.81″W / 32.4302111°N 85.7077250°W / 32.4302111; -85.7077250
Campus Rural, 5,200 acres
Colors Crimson and Gold [3]
Nickname Golden Tigers
Sporting affiliations
Website www.tuskegee.edu
Tuskegee University logo.svg

Tuskegee University is a private, historically black university in Tuskegee, Alabama. It was established by Lewis Adams and Booker T. Washington. The campus is designated as the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site by the National Park Service. The university was home to scientist George Washington Carver and to World War II's Tuskegee Airmen.

Private universities are typically not operated by governments, although many receive tax breaks, public student loans, and grants. Depending on their location, private universities may be subject to government regulation. This is in contrast to public universities and national universities. Many private universities are non-profit organizations.

Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community. During the period of segregation in the United States prior to the Civil Rights Act, the overwhelming majority of higher education institutions were predominantly white and disqualified African Americans from enrollment. For a century after the end of slavery in the United States in 1865, most colleges and universities in the Southern United States prohibited all African Americans from attending, while institutions in other parts of the country regularly employed quotas to limit admissions of blacks.

Tuskegee, Alabama City in Alabama, United States

Tuskegee is a city in Macon County, Alabama, United States. It was founded and laid out in 1833 by General Thomas Simpson Woodward, a Creek War veteran under Andrew Jackson, and made the county seat that year. It was incorporated in 1843. It is also the largest city in Macon County. At the 2010 census the population was 9,865, down from 11,846 in 2000.


Tuskegee University offers 40 bachelor's degree programs, 17 master's degree programs, a 5-year accredited professional degree program in architecture, 4 doctoral degree programs, and the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. The university is home to over 3,100 students from the U.S. and 30 foreign countries. Tuskegee University was ranked among 2018's best 379 colleges and universities by The Princeton Review and 6th among the 2018 U.S. News & World Report best HBCUs.

A bachelor's degree or baccalaureate is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study lasting three to seven years. In some institutions and educational systems, some bachelor's degrees can only be taken as graduate or postgraduate degrees after a first degree has been completed. In countries with qualifications frameworks, bachelor's degrees are normally one of the major levels in the framework, although some qualifications titled bachelor's degrees may be at other levels and some qualifications with non-bachelor's titles may be classified as bachelor's degrees.

A master's degree is an academic degree awarded by universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice. A master's degree normally requires previous study at the bachelor's level, either as a separate degree or as part of an integrated course. Within the area studied, master's graduates are expected to possess advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and applied topics; high order skills in analysis, critical evaluation, or professional application; and the ability to solve complex problems and think rigorously and independently.

Architecture The product and the process of planning, designing and constructing buildings and other structures.

Architecture is both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing buildings or any other structures. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements.

The university's campus was designed by architect Robert Robinson Taylor, the first African American to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in conjunction with David Williston, the first professionally trained African-American landscape architect. [4]

Robert Robinson Taylor American architect

Robert Robinson Taylor was an American architect; the first accredited African-American architect. He was also the first African-American student enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1888. Additionally, he designed many of the buildings on the campus of Tuskegee University prior to 1932, and he served as second-in-command to its founder and first President, Booker T. Washington.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology University in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Institute is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university, with an urban campus that extends more than a mile (1.6 km) alongside the Charles River. The Institute also encompasses a number of major off-campus facilities such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, the Bates Center, and the Haystack Observatory, as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad and Whitehead Institutes. Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength, making it one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the world.

David Williston (1868-1962) was the first professionally trained African American landscape architect in the United States. He designed many campuses for historically black colleges and universities, including Tuskegee University.


Planning and establishment

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History class at Tuskegee, 1902

The school was founded on July 4, 1881, as the Tuskegee Normal School for Colored Teachers. This was a result of an agreement made during the 1880 elections in Macon County between a former Confederate Colonel, W.F. Foster, who was running on the Democratic ticket, and a local Black Leader and Republican, Lewis Adams. W.F. Foster propositioned that if Adams could successfully persuade the Black constituents to vote for Foster, if elected, Foster would push the state of Alabama to establish a school for Black people in the county. At the time the majority of Macon County population was Black, thus Black constituents had political power. Adams succeeded and Foster followed through with the school.[ citation needed ] The school became a part of the expansion of higher education for blacks in the former Confederate states following the American Civil War, with many schools founded by the northern American Missionary Association. A teachers' school was the dream of Lewis Adams, a former slave, and George W. Campbell, a banker, merchant, and former slaveholder, who shared a commitment to the education of blacks. Despite lacking formal education, Adams could read, write, and speak several languages. He was an experienced tinsmith, harness-maker, and shoemaker and was a Prince Hall Freemason, an acknowledged leader of the African-American community in Macon County, Alabama.

Lewis Adams American slave

Lewis Adams was an African-American former slave in Macon County, Alabama, who is best remembered for his work in helping found the school in 1874 in Tuskegee, Alabama which grew to become the normal school that with its first principal, Booker T Washington, grew to become Tuskegee University.

Confederate States of America (de facto) federal republic in North America from 1861 to 1865

The Confederate States of America — commonly referred to as the Confederacy — was an unrecognized republic in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865. The Confederacy was originally formed by seven secessionist slave-holding states—South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas—in the Lower South region of the United States, whose economy was heavily dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves. Convinced that white supremacy and the institution of slavery were threatened by the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U.S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories, the Confederacy declared its secession in rebellion to the United States, with the loyal states becoming known as the Union during the ensuing American Civil War. Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens described its ideology as being centrally based "upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition".

Adams and Campbell had secured $2,000 from the State of Alabama for teachers' salaries but nothing for land, buildings, or equipment. Adams, Campbell (replacing Thomas Dryer, who died after his appointment), and M. B. Swanson formed Tuskegee's first board of commissioners. Campbell wrote to the Hampton Institute, a historically black college in Virginia, requesting the recommendation of a teacher for their new school. Samuel C. Armstrong, the Hampton principal and a former Union general, recommended 25-year-old Booker T. Washington, an alumnus and teacher at Hampton.

Virginia U.S. state in the United States

Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2018 is over 8.5 million.

Samuel C. Armstrong Union Army general

Samuel Chapman Armstrong, the son of Hawaiian missionaries, rose through the Union Army during the American Civil War, to become a General leading units of African American soldiers. He became best known as an American educator, founding and becoming the first principal of the normal school for African-American and later Native American pupils in Virginia which later became Hampton University. He also founded the university's museum, the Hampton University Museum, which is the oldest African-American museum in the country, and the oldest museum in Virginia.

The principal is the chief executive and the chief academic officer of a university or college in certain parts of the Commonwealth.

As the newly hired principal in Tuskegee, Booker Washington began classes for his new school in a rundown church and shanty. The following year (1882), he purchased a former plantation of 100 acres in size. In 1973 the Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University, did an oral history interview with Annie Lou "Bama" Miller. In that interview she indicated that her grandmother sold the original 100 acres of land to Booker T. Washington. That oral history interview is located at the Tuskegee University archives. The earliest campus buildings were constructed on that property, usually by students as part of their work-study. By the start of the 20th century, the Tuskegee Institute occupied nearly 2,300 acres. [5]

Plantations in the American South large farms in the antebellum southern US, farmed by large numbers of enslaved Africans, typically growing cotton, tobacco, sugar, indigo, or rice

Plantations are an important aspect of the history of the American South, particularly the antebellum era. The mild subtropical climate, plentiful rainfall, fertile soils of the southeastern United States, and Native American genocide allowed the flourishing of large plantations, where large numbers of enslaved Africans were held captive as slave labor and forced to produce crops to create wealth for a white elite.

Based on his experience at the Hampton Institute, Washington intended to train students in skills, morals, and religious life, in addition to academic subjects. Washington urged the teachers he trained "to return to the plantation districts and show the people there how to put new energy and new ideas into farming as well as into the intellectual and moral and religious life of the people." [6] Washington's second wife Olivia A. Davidson, was instrumental to the success and helped raise funds for the school. [7]

Gradually, a rural extension program was developed, to take progressive ideas and training to those who could not come to the campus. Tuskegee alumni founded smaller schools and colleges throughout the South; they continued to emphasize teacher training.

Booker T. Washington's leadership

Booker T. Washington Booker T Washington retouched flattened-crop.jpg
Booker T. Washington
The Oaks, Booker T. Washington's home on the Tuskegee campus, c. 1906 Booker T. Washington residence - The Oaks.jpg
The Oaks, Booker T. Washington's home on the Tuskegee campus, c. 1906
Presidents of Tuskegee University
Booker T. Washington 1881–1915
Robert Russa Moton 1915–1935
Frederick Douglass Patterson 1935–1953
Luther H. Foster Jr. 1953–1981
Benjamin F. Payton 1981–2010
Charlotte P. Morris (interim)2010–2010
Gilbert L. Rochon 2010–2013
Matthew Jenkins (acting)2013–2014
Brian L. Johnson 2014–2017
Charlotte P. Morris (interim)2017–2018
Lily D. McNair 2018–present

As a young free man after the Civil War, Washington sought a formal education. He worked his way through Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (now Hampton University) and attended college at Wayland Seminary in Washington, DC (now Virginia Union University). He returned to Hampton as a teacher.

Hired as principal of the new normal school (for the training of teachers) in Tuskegee, Alabama, Booker Washington opened his school on July 4, 1881, on the grounds of the Butler Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. The following year, he bought the grounds of a former plantation, out of which he expanded the institute in the decades that followed.

The school expressed Washington's dedication to the pursuit of self-reliance. In addition to training teachers, he also taught the practical skills needed for his students to succeed at farming or other trades typical of the rural South, where most of them came from. He wanted his students to see labor as practical, but also as beautiful and dignified. As part of their work-study programs, students constructed most of the new buildings. Many students earned all or part of their expenses through the construction, agricultural, and domestic work associated with the campus, as they reared livestock and raised crops, as well as producing other goods.

The continuing expansion of black education took place against a background of increased violence against blacks in the South, after white Democrats regained power in state governments and imposed white supremacy in society. They instituted legal racial segregation and a variety of Jim Crow laws, after disfranchising most blacks by constitutional amendments and electoral rules from 1890 until 1964. Against this background, Washington's vision, as expressed in his "Atlanta compromise" speech, became controversial and was challenged by new leaders, such as W.E.B. Du Bois, who argued that blacks should have opportunities for study in classical academic programs, as well as vocational institutes. In the early twentieth century, Du Bois envisioned the rise of "the Talented Tenth" to lead African Americans.

Washington gradually attracted notable scholars to Tuskegee, including the botanist George Washington Carver, one of the university's most renowned professors.


Perceived as a spokesman for black "industrial" education, Washington developed a network of wealthy American philanthropists who donated to the school, such as Andrew Carnegie, Collis P. Huntington, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Huttleston Rogers, George Eastman, and Elizabeth Milbank Anderson. An early champion of the concept of matching funds, Henry H. Rogers was a major anonymous contributor to Tuskegee and dozens of other black schools for more than fifteen years.

Thanks to recruitment efforts on the island and contacts with the U.S. military, Tuskegee had a particularly large population of Afro-Cuban students during these years. Following small-scale recruitments prior to the 1898–99 school year, the university quickly gained popularity among ambitious Afro-Cubans. In the first three decades of the school's existence, dozens of Afro-Cubans enrolled at Tuskegee each year, becoming the largest population of foreign students at the school. [8]


George Washington Carver (front row, center) poses with fellow faculty of Tuskegee Institute in this c. 1902 photograph taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston. George Washington Carver, ca. 1902.jpg
George Washington Carver (front row, center) poses with fellow faculty of Tuskegee Institute in this c. 1902 photograph taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston.

Washington developed a major relationship with Julius Rosenwald, a self-made man who rose to the top of Sears, Roebuck and Company in Chicago, Illinois. He had long been concerned about the lack of educational resources for blacks, especially in the South. After meeting with Washington, Rosenwald agreed to serve on Tuskegee's Board of Directors. He also worked with Washington to stimulate funding to train teachers' schools such as Tuskegee and Hampton institutes.

Washington was a tireless fundraiser for the institute. In 1905 he kicked off an endowment campaign, raising money all over America in 1906 for the 25th anniversary of the institution. Along with wealthy donors, he gave a lecture at Carnegie Hall in New York on January 23, 1906, called the Tuskegee Institute Silver Anniversary Lecture, in which Mark Twain spoke.

Beginning with a pilot program in 1912, Rosenwald created model rural schools and stimulated construction of new schools across the South. Tuskegee architects developed the model plans, and some students helped build the schools. Rosenwald created a fund but required communities to raise matching funds, to encourage local collaboration between blacks and whites. Rosenwald and Washington stimulated the construction and operation of more than 5,000 small community schools and supporting resources for the education of blacks throughout the rural the South into the 1930s.

Despite his travels and widespread work, Washington continued as principal of Tuskegee. Concerned about the educator's health, Rosenwald encouraged him to slow his pace. In 1915, Washington died at the age of 59, as a result of high blood pressure. [9] At his death, Tuskegee's endowment exceeded US$1.5 million. He was buried on the campus near the chapel.

Tuskegee Institute panoramic photograph, 1916.jpg
Tuskegee campus, 1916

Tuskegee, in cooperation with church missionary activity, work to set up industrial training programs in Africa. [10]


Tuskegee Institute, c. 1916 Tuskegee University (c. 1916).jpg
Tuskegee Institute, c. 1916

The years after World War I challenged the basis of the Tuskegee Institute. Teaching was still seen as a critical calling, but southern society was changing rapidly. Attracted by the growth of industrial jobs in the North, including the rapid expansion of the Pennsylvania Railroad, suffering job losses because of the boll weevil and increasing mechanization of agriculture, and fleeing extra-legal violence, hundreds of thousands of rural blacks moved from the South to Northern and Midwestern industrial cities in the Great Migration. A total of 1.5 million moved during this period. In the South, industrialization was occurring in cities such as Birmingham, Alabama and other booming areas. The programs at Tuskegee, based on an agricultural economy, had to change. During and after World War II, migration to the North continued, with California added as a destination because of its defense industries. A total of 5 million blacks moved out of the South from 1940–1970.

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

From 1932 to 1972, Tuskegee Institute collaborated with the United States government in the Tuskegee syphilis experiment by which the effects of deliberately untreated syphilis were studied. These experiments have become infamous for misleading study participants, African-American men, by telling them that they were being treated for syphilis when in fact researchers were only monitoring the progression of the disease. Syphilis is a debilitating disease that can leave its victims with permanent neurological damage and horrifying scars (see granulomatous gummas). Penicillin was discovered in 1927 and it was being used to treat human disease by the early 1940s. In 1947 it had become the gold standard in treating syphilis and often only required one intramuscular dose to completely eliminate the disease. The researchers were well aware of this information and in order to continue their experiments, they chose to withhold the life-saving treatment. The researchers proceeded to actively deter study participants from obtaining penicillin from other physicians. The patients were told that they had "bad blood." This experiment was conducted by the U.S. Public Health Service in collaboration with the Tuskegee Institute. This was a direct violation of the Hippocratic Oath, however, not a single researcher, nor the Tuskegee University was legally punished. Academic research has shown that the study had a long-term, damaging effects on black men's health and contributed to mistrust of medical professionals among black men. [11] [12]

World War II and after

Tuskegee University Chapel (1969) Rudolph Tuskegee Chapel exterior.jpg
Tuskegee University Chapel (1969)

In 1941, in an effort to train black aviators, the U.S. Army Air Corps established a training program at Tuskegee Institute, using Moton Field, about 4 miles (6.4 km) away from the campus center. The graduates became known as the Tuskegee Airmen. The Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site at Moton Field was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. Army, Air Force, and Navy have R.O.T.C. programs on campus today.

Numerous presidents have visited Tuskegee, including Franklin D. Roosevelt. Eleanor Roosevelt was also interested in the Institute and its aeronautical school. In 1941 she visited Tuskegee Army Air Field and worked to have African Americans get the chance as pilots in the military. She corresponded with F.D. Patterson, the third president of the Tuskegee Institute, and frequently lent her support to programs. [13]

The notable architect Paul Rudolph was commissioned in 1958 to produce a new campus master plan. In 1960 he was awarded, along with the partnership of John A. Welch and Louis Fry, the commission for a new chapel, perhaps the most significant modern building constructed in Alabama.

The postwar decades were a time of continued expansion for Tuskegee, which added new programs and departments, adding graduate programs in several fields to reflect the rise of professional studies. For example, its School of Veterinary Medicine was added in 1944. Mechanical Engineering was added in 1953, and a four-year program in Architecture in 1957, with a six-year program in 1965.

In 1985, Tuskegee Institute achieved university status and was renamed Tuskegee University.

In 2019, the school signed a deal with a for-profit college, Ross University School of Medicine, to increase the number of African America doctors in the US [14]

Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site

Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site
USA Alabama location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Usa edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Nearest city Tuskegee, Alabama
Coordinates 32°25′49″N85°42′28″W / 32.43028°N 85.70778°W / 32.43028; -85.70778 Coordinates: 32°25′49″N85°42′28″W / 32.43028°N 85.70778°W / 32.43028; -85.70778
Architect Robert Robinson Taylor
Architectural styleGreek Revival, Queen Anne
Website Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site
NRHP reference # 66000151
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1966 [15]
Designated NHLJune 23, 1965 [16]

In 1965 Tuskegee University was declared a National Historic Landmark for the significance of its academic programs, its role in higher education for African-Americans, and its status in United States history. [16] Congress authorized the establishment of the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site .

The National Historic Site includes The Oaks, Booker T. Washington's home and the George Washington Carver Museum. As the landmark designation did not define a limited area, the district is believed to have included the entire Tuskegee University campus at the time. [17] Points of "special historic interest," noted in the landmark description include:

The Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site is at Moton Field, in Tuskegee, Alabama. [18]


Built in 1857, Grey Columns now serves as the home of the president of Tuskegee University. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 11, 1980. Grey Columns Tuskegee, Alabama.JPG
Built in 1857, Grey Columns now serves as the home of the president of Tuskegee University. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 11, 1980.

The Tuskegee Institute commissioned a documentary [ when? ] about the college for use as a marketing tool and to preserve memories of Washington. A Tuskegee Pilgrimage, was a collection of interviews with faculty and students. It was produced by Robert Levy, who in 1922 had made an independent documentary about Washington, titled The Leader of His Race.


Tuskegee University provides 24-hour Campus Police protection for its students. All officers are state certified.

Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center

The Tuskegee University Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center Tuskegee University Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center.jpg
The Tuskegee University Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center

The Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center at the renovated Dorothy Hall (built 1901) was established in 1994 on the campus of Tuskegee University by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Kellogg Conference Center offers multimedia meeting rooms, as well as a 300-seat auditorium and a ballroom that accommodates up to 350 guests. Students studying Hospitality Management within the Andrew F. Brimmer College of Business and Information Science & Dietetics students within the Department of Food and Nutrition Science are able to receive hands on experience at the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center. The Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center is the only center at a historically black university; there are only 11 worldwide. Other Kellogg Conference Centers in the United States are located at: Michigan State University, Gallaudet University and the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona).


A view of the Tuskegee University campus - White Hall bell tower Tuskegee University campus.jpg
A view of the Tuskegee University campus – White Hall bell tower

The academic programs are organized into five colleges and two schools: (1) The College of Agriculture, Environment and Nutrition Sciences; (2) The College of Arts and Sciences; (3) The Brimmer College of Business and Information Science; (4) The College of Engineering; (5) The College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health; (6), The Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science; and (7) The School of Education.

Tuskegee houses an undergraduate honors program for qualified rising sophomores (and above) with at least a cumulative 3.2 GPA. [19]

Tuskegee University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award Baccalaureate, Master's, Doctorate, and professional degrees. The following academic programs are accredited by national agencies: Architecture, Business, Education, Engineering, Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Social Work, and Veterinary Medicine.

Tuskegee University is the only Historically Black University to offer the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.); its School of Veterinary Medicine was established in 1944. The school is fully accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

College of Veterinary Medicine - Fredrick D Patterson Hall Tuskegee University's College of Veterinary Medicine -Fredrick D Patterson Hall.jpg
College of Veterinary Medicine – Fredrick D Patterson Hall

Tuskegee University offers several Engineering degree programs all with ABET accreditation.

The Aerospace Science Engineering department was established in 1983. Tuskegee University is the first and only Historically Black University to offer an accredited B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering. The Mechanical Engineering Department was established in 1954 and the Chemical Engineering Department began in 1977; The Department of Electrical Engineering is the largest of five departments within the College of Engineering. The program is accredited by EAC/ABET (Engineering Accreditation Commission/Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

College of Engineering - Luther H. Foster Hall has long been home to one of the nation's best engineering programs containing: Aerospace Science Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science Engineering, Mechanical and Military Science Tuskegee University's College of Engineering -Luther H. Foster Hall.jpg
College of Engineering – Luther H. Foster Hall has long been home to one of the nation's best engineering programs containing: Aerospace Science Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science Engineering, Mechanical and Military Science

The Tuskegee University Andrew F. Brimmer College of Business and Information Science is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB-International).

The school of Nursing was established as the Tuskegee Institute Training School of Nurses and registered with the Alabama State board of Nursing, September 1892 under the auspices of the John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital. In 1948 the university began its baccalaureate program in Nursing; becoming the first nursing program in the state of Alabama. The Nursing department holds full accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and is approved by the Alabama State Board of Nursing.

Tuskegee University School of Nursing - Basil O'Connor Hall. Tuskegee Institute Training School of Nurses was registered with the State Board of Nursing in Alabama in September 1892 under the auspices of Tuskegee University's John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital. In 1948, the School began its baccalaureate program leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. This program has the distinction of being the first Baccalaureate Nursing program in the State of Alabama. Tuskegee School of Nursing -Basil O'Connor Hall.jpg
Tuskegee University School of Nursing – Basil O'Connor Hall. Tuskegee Institute Training School of Nurses was registered with the State Board of Nursing in Alabama in September 1892 under the auspices of Tuskegee University's John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital. In 1948, the School began its baccalaureate program leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. This program has the distinction of being the first Baccalaureate Nursing program in the State of Alabama.

The Occupational Therapy program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association. The Clinical Laboratory Science Program is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences. (NAACLS)

Tuskegee University began offering certificates in Architecture under the Division of Mechanical Industries in 1893. The 4-year curriculum in architecture leading to the Bachelor of Science degree was initiated in 1957 and the professional 6-year program in 1965. The Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture offers two professional programs: Architecture, and Construction Science and Management. The 5-year Bachelor of Architecture program is fully accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). Graduates of the program are qualified to become registered architects.

Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science is home to one of only 2 NAAB-accredited, architecture professional degree programs in the state of Alabama. It is also home to one of the top Construction Science and Management degree programs in the nation. Willcox Hall -Tuskegee University Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science.jpg
Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science is home to one of only 2 NAAB-accredited, architecture professional degree programs in the state of Alabama. It is also home to one of the top Construction Science and Management degree programs in the nation.

In 2019, Tuskegee signed a partnership with the Ross University School of Medicine to help redress diversity shortages in the medical field. Qualified Tuskegee students will automatically gain admissions into the medical school with a tuition free first semester. [20]


National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care

National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care is the nation's first bioethics center devoted to engaging the sciences, humanities, law and religious faiths in the exploration of the core moral issues which underlie research and medical treatment of African Americans and other under-served people. The official launching of the Center took place two years after President Bill Clinton's apology to the nation, the survivors of the Syphilis Study, Tuskegee University, and Tuskegee/Macon County, Alabama for the U.S. Public Health Service medical experiment (1932–1972), where 399 poor—and mostly illiterate—African American sharecroppers became part of a study on non-treating and natural history of syphilis. [24]


Tuskegee is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II and competes within the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC). The university has a total of 10 varsity sports teams, five men's teams called the "Golden Tigers", and five women's teams called the "Tigerettes".

Tuskegee's Men's Basketball won the 2014 SIAC Championship and the 2014 NCAA Division South Region Championship. The Golden Tigers also made it to the Elite Eight during the 2014 NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Tournament. Tuskegee's Women's Softball won the 2014 SIAC Championship.

The Tuskegee Department of Athletics sponsors the following sports:


Tuskegee University's historic Cleveland Leigh Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium, completed 1924. The stadium was the first of its kind to be built at any HBCU in the south. Cleveland Leigh Abbott Memorial Alumni -Tuskegee University.JPG
Tuskegee University's historic Cleveland Leigh Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium, completed 1924. The stadium was the first of its kind to be built at any HBCU in the south.

The Tuskegee University football team has won 29 SIAC championships (the most in SIAC history). As of 2013 the Golden Tigers continue to be the most successful HBCU with 652 wins.

In 2013 Tuskegee opted not to renew its contract to face rival Alabama State University (Division I FCS) in the Turkey Day Classic, the oldest black college football classic in the country. Instead, after going 10–2 the Golden Tigers made their first playoff appearance in school history for the 2013 NCAA Division II Football Championship, for which they had qualified in the past but could not participate due to the Turkey Day Classic. Tuskegee competed against the University of North Alabama in the first round of the playoffs, but lost 30–27. Tuskegee won the 2014 SIAC Football Championship and advanced to the first round of the NCAA Division II football playoffs with a loss of 20–17 to University of West Georgia.

Tuskegee led the nation in 2013 Division II football average attendance for their three home games. [25]


The baseball program has won thirteen SIAC championships and has produced several professional players, including big-leaguers Leon Wagner, Ken Howell, Alan Mills and Roy Lee Jackson.


Tuskegee defeated Albany State University, 11–7, to claim the 2014 SIAC Softball Championship.


Tuskegee won the 2013–14 SIAC Championship and advanced to the 2014 NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Tournament. Tuskegee won the NCAA Division II South Regional Championship by defeating Delta State University 80-59. The Golden Tigers fell to No. 1-ranked Metro State (Metropolitan State University of Denver), 106-87, in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division II tournament at Ford Center, in Evansville, Indiana.

Track and field

Track began (Men and Women) at Tuskegee in 1916. The first Tuskegee Relays and Meet was held on May 7, 1927; it was the oldest African American relay meet.

The Tuskegee women's team won the championship of the Amateur Athletic Union national senior outdoor meet for all athletes 14 times in 1937–1942 and 1944–1951. The team likewise won the AAU national indoor championship four times in 1941, 1945, 1946 and 1948. [26]

Tuskegee's Alice Coachman was the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in any sport, at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. Iram Lewis, a Tuskegee graduate of architecture, is an Olympian relay runner who competed for the Bahamas.

Notable faculty and staff

J. Pius Barbour (1919–1921)Executive director of the National Baptist Association, editor of the National Baptist Voice, mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr. [27]
George Washington Carver African American scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor whose studies and teaching revolutionized agriculture in the Southern United States
C. M. Battey Photography (1916–1927)photographer who made portraits of many black leaders and shot covers for The Crisis magazine
General Daniel "Chappie" James fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, who in 1975 became the first African American to reach the rank of four-star General
P. H. Polk Photography (1933–1938)photographer who documented working class African Americans, ex-slaves, and black leaders; also served as the institute's official photographer for four decades.
Ruth Logan Roberts Physical educationSuffragist, YWCA leader on national level, activist for social and women's health issues, and host of a salon in Harlem [28]
Lamina Sankoh early Sierra Leonean nationalist politician who taught at Tuskegee in the late 1920s
Robert Robinson Taylor first African American graduate of MIT, architect for most of the Tuskegee campus buildings and founder of trades programs, served as second in command to Tuskegee's founder and first president, Dr. Booker T. Washington
Andrew P. Torrence President of Tennessee State University (1968-1974); executive vice president and provost of Tuskegee University (1974-1980) [29]
Booker T. Washington Appointed President for 1881–1915first principal of the university [30]
Josephine Turpin Washington Mathematics1886 Howard University alumni, early writer on civil rights topics [31]
Nathaniel Oglesby Calloway Chemistry1930 Iowa State University alumni, first African-American to receive PhD

Notable alumni

NameClass yearNotabilityReference(s)
Chalmers Archer 1972author of "Growing Up Black in Mississippi" and "Green Berets in the Vanguard"
Robert Beck 1970s writer known as Iceberg Slim
Amelia Boynton Robinson 1927international civil and human rights activist, the first woman from Alabama to run United States Congress in 1964 (affectionately known as "Queen Mother Amelia"), best known for her role in the "Bloody Sunday" event in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965
Roscoe Simmons 1899columnist for the Chicago Tribune
William A. Campbell 1937a member of the Tuskegee Airmen who rose to the rank of Colonel
Charles William Carpenter 1909Baptist minister and civil rights activist
Carl Henry Clerk 1925Gold Coast educator, administrator, journalist, editor, Presbyterian minister and fourth Synod Clerk, Presbyterian Church of the Gold Coast
Alice Marie Coachman 1942athlete who specialized in high jump, and was the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal
The Commodores 70s R&B band whose members met while attending Tuskegee
George Williamson Crawford lawyer and city official in New Haven, Connecticut [32]
Leon Crenshaw former NFL player
General Oliver W. Dillard retired Army major general, Silver Star recipient in Korea – 1950
Ralph Ellison scholar, author of Invisible Man
Milton C. Davis 1971lawyer who researched and advocated for the pardon of Clarence Norris, the last surviving Scottsboro Boy
Cecile Hoover Edwards B.A. 1946, M.A. 1947Nutritional researcher and government consultant [33]
Chauncey Eskridge 1939lawyer for Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali [34]
Vera King Farris 1959President of Richard Stockton College of New Jersey from 1983–2003 [35]
Isaac Fisher educator, taught at Hampton University and Fisk University
Drayton Florence NFL defensive back
Lovett Fort-Whiteman political activist and Comintern functionary [36]
Manet Harrison Fowler 1913singer, founder of Mwalimu School in Harlem, president of Texas Association of Negro Musicians
Alexander N. Green U.S. Representative from Texas's 9th congressional district
Alexander N. Green U.S. Representative from Texas's 9th congressional district
Winston C. Hackett First African-American physician in Arizona [37] [38]
Ken Howell 1982former Major League Baseball pitcher
Marvalene Hughes president of Dillard University
General Daniel "Chappie" James 1942US Air Force Fighter pilot, in 1975 became the first African American to reach the rank of four-star General
Lonnie Johnson (inventor) inventor of the Super Soaker, former NASA aerospace engineer
Ken Jordan former NFL player
Tom Joyner 1971radio host whose daily program, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, is syndicated across the United States and heard by over 10 million radio listeners.
John A. Lankford 20th century architect
Marion Mann 1940former dean of the College of Medicine at Howard University and US Army Brigadier General (retired)
Claude McKay 1912 Jamaican writer and poet, Harlem Renaissance
Albert Murray 1939literary and jazz critic, novelist, and biographer
Ray Nagin 1978former mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana
Dimitri Patterson NFL player
Dr. Ptolemy A. Reid 1955 Prime Minister of Guyana (1980–1984)
Rich Boy Rapper
Lionel Richie R&B singer, Grammy Award winner
Lawrence E. Roberts a member of the Tuskegee Airmen and a colonel in The United States Air Force
John Robinson (aviator) early aviator and colonel in the Imperial Ethiopian Air Force against Fascist Italy during WWII
George C. Royal 1943microbiologist who is currently professor emeritus at Howard University
Roderick Royal president of the Birmingham City Council
Betty Shabazz wife of Malcolm X
Jake Simmons Jr. 1919oil broker and civil rights advocate
Danielle Spencer television actress best known as Dee from the 1970s TV show What's Happening!!
McCants Stewart 1896lawyer, first African American to practice law in Oregon
Frank Walker NFL defensive back
Keenen Ivory Wayans actor, comedian, and television producer
Alfreda Johnson Webb 1943First African-American woman in the North Carolina General Assembly (1972) [39]
Jack Whitten abstract painter
Dr. David Wilson president of Morgan State University
Roosevelt Williams (gridiron football) 2000former NFL player for the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets
Ken Woodard former NFL player
Elizabeth Evelyn Wright educator and humanitarian, founder of Voorhees College
Marilyn Mosby 2002State's Attorney in Baltimore, MD

See also

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Further reading