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Wed, 09.18.1935

Norfolk State University is Founded

*On this date in 1935, Norfolk State University (NSU) was founded.   They are a public Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in Norfolk, Virginia.

The university is a member-school of Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Virginia High-Tech Partnership. The institution was founded as the Norfolk Unit of Virginia State University.  Eighty-five students attended the first classes held in 1935.  Samuel Fischer Scott, an alumnus of Virginia Union and Portsmouth native, served as the first director with the primary focus of maintaining the solvency of the school. Dr. Lyman Beecher Brooks, a Virginia Union alumnus, succeeded Mr. Scott as director in 1938 and served as provost, 1963–1969, and the first president 1969–1975.  

In 1942, the school became independent of VSU and was named Norfolk Polytechnic College.  Within two years, by an act of the Virginia Legislature, it became a part of Virginia State College (now Virginia State University).  By 1950, the 15th anniversary of the college founding, the faculty had grown to fifty and the student enrollment to 1,018. In 1952, the college's athletic teams adopted the "Spartan" name and identity.  The City of Norfolk provided a permanent site for the college on Corprew Avenue, and in 1955 Brown Hall, formerly Tidewater Hall, opened as the first permanent building on the new campus. In 1956 the future Norfolk State College granted its first bachelor’s degrees.  In 1969, the college divided from Virginia State College and was named Norfolk State College. The college was issued accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools the same year with an enrollment of 5,400 students.

In 1975 and the year following, the first master's degrees were awarded in Communications and Social Work, respectively. Dr. Harrison Benjamin Wilson, Jr., in 1975, succeeded Dr. Lyman Beecher Brooks as President after 37 years.  When the college was granted university status in 1979 by the General Assembly of Virginia, it changed its name to Norfolk State University.  Norfolk State University celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1985 with a year of observances and with an enrollment of 7,200. In 1995 Norfolk State University's enrollment reached 9,112.   On September 13, 2013, Eddie N. Moore Jr. was appointed interim president of Norfolk State University and started serving in that capacity on September 23, 2013.  

In December 2013, the university was placed on probation by its regional accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, for "financial and governance issues." The probation was lifted two years later.  Eddie Moore, Jr. became the 6th president of Norfolk State University on January 10, 2016.  On June 24, 2019 Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston will become the 7th president of Norfolk State University after moving from her job as Senior Vice President for Student Life at The Ohio State University. 

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