North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
|North Carolina Agricultural and Technical
|Motto||Mens et Manus (Latin)|
|Motto in English||Mind and Hand|
|Established||March 9, 1891|
|Endowment||US $28,041,146 (2012)|
|Provost||Joe B. Whitehead Jr.|
|Academic staff||Total: 663
(471 full time/ 193 part time)
|Students||10,636 (Fall 2012)|
|Undergraduates||8,923 (Fall 2012)|
|Postgraduates||1,713 (Fall 2012)|
|Doctoral students||253 (Fall 2012)|
|Location||Greensboro, North Carolina, United States
200 acre (0.8 km²) main campus,
492 acre (1.99 km²) agricultural campus
|Former names||The Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race
Negro Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina
Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina
|College Yell||"Aggie Pride"|
Blue and Gold
|Sports||NCAA Division I - Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC)
Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (Women's Swimming)
13 varsity sports teams
|Affiliations||University of North Carolina System
Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Southeastern Universities Research Association
Thurgood Marshall College Fund
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (also known as North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina A&T, N.C. A&T, or simply A&T) is a land-grant university located in Greensboro, North Carolina, United States. It is the largest publicly funded historically black college (HBCU) in the state of North Carolina.
North Carolina A&T is a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina System. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and classified as a research university with high research activity by The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Founded in 1891 and known then as The Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race.
N.C. A&T is one of the nation's leading producers of African-American engineers with bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees, and  NASA is one of the major partners of the School of Engineering. The university is also the nation's top producer of minorities with degrees (as a whole) in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The university is also a leading producer of minority certified public accountants, landscape architects, veterinarians, and agricultural graduates. NC A&T offers 116 bachelor's degrees, 54 master's degrees, and doctorate degrees in energy, environmental, electrical engineering studies, Leadership Studies, and mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineering. NC A&T is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
- 1 History
- 2 Campus
- 3 Organization and administration
- 4 Academic profile
- 5 Research
- 6 Student life
- 7 Athletics
- 8 Notable alumni
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University was established as a "mechanical college" for the "Colored Race" by an act of the General Assembly of North Carolina, ratified March 9, 1891. The act read in part: "That the leading objective of the college shall be to teach practical agriculture and the mechanic arts and such learning as related thereto, not excluding academic and classical instruction." This college was established along with North Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical College, now known as North Carolina State University; due to segregation laws, whites and blacks could not attend college together. The college operated in Raleigh at the private Shaw University until 1893, when donations from Dr. Dewitt, C. Benbow and Charles H. Moore totaling $11,000 and 14 acres (57,000 m²) of land allowed the establishment of a campus in Greensboro. The original course of study of A&T included languages and literature, mathematics, business, agriculture and military science. Female students enrolled from 1893 until 1901, but not again until 1928. In 1915, the name of the College became The Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina by act of the NC General Assembly.
On February 1, 1960, four A&T freshmen helped spark the civil rights movement in the South. Ezell Blair (Jibreel Khazan), Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, and David Richmond "sat-in" at an all white eating establishment (Woolworth's) and demanded equal service at the lunch counter. Because of their great desire for change and equality they inspired many other students of the university to join them in their non-violent protest to desegregate Woolworth's lunch counter. By the end of July, 1960, their mission was accomplished and they became the A&T Four and their campaign became known as the Greensboro sit-ins. Seven years later, the college gained university status and became North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The school was centrally involved in the 1969 Greensboro uprising when it was stormed by the National Guard in what was described at the time as "the most massive armed assault ever made against an American university".
On February 25, 2009, Chancellor Stanley Battle announced his resignation, effective June 30, 2009, citing family and personal issues. The following month, on May 22, 2009, Dr. Harold L. Martin Sr. was elected as the 12th chancellor of the university by UNC System Board of Governors.
Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina Historic District
|Location||E. side of Dudley St. between Bluford St. and Authur Headen Dr., Greensboro, North Carolina|
|Area||10.1 acres (4.1 ha)|
|Architectural style||Colonial Revival, Classical Revival, Other, Georgian Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||88002046|
|Added to NRHP||October 20, 1988|
North Carolina A&T's main campus, often referred to as "Aggieland," is located approximately nine blocks east of downtown Greensboro, North Carolina, a city that supports a population of 277,080 and is one of three principal cities that forms the Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point CSA also referred to as the Piedmont Triad region.
Development of the campus started in 1893 with 14 acres (0.057 km2) of donated land. Today, the main campus encompasses over 200 acres (0.81 km2) in area, and 71 total buildings, which include 28 Academic buildings, 15 Student residences, and various support buildings and athletic facilities. In addition, the physical plant also includes the 600 acres (2.4 km2) working farm, and Two Research Parks totaling a combined 150 acres (0.61 km2). The main roads that create the campus boundaries are East Bessemer street, to the north; East Market street, to the south; North O'Henry Boulevard (U.S. Route 220/U.S. 29/U.S. 70), to the east; North Dudley street, to the west; and East Lindsay street to the northeast. The main entry point of the campus is located at the intersection of East Market street and North Benbow road.
A portion of today's main campus comprises the Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina Historic District, which was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. This area consists of a mixture of Colonial Revival, Classical Revival, and Georgian Revival style buildings including the five oldest buildings on the campus: the James B. Dudley Building, Harrison Auditorium Nobel, Morrison, and Murphy Halls.
Located inside the James B. Dudley Memorial Building, the university galleries are home to the Mattye Reed African Heritage and the H. Clinton Taylor Collections. Founded in the late 1960s, the Reed African Heritage Collection is dedicated to the ancestral and contemporary arts of Africa and the Caribbean. The Reed Collection houses around 3,500 artifacts, art, and craft items from more than 35 African and Caribbean nations. The collection is named for Mattye Reed, the site's first curator and director. Reed helped collect a great number of the pieces through soliciting donations from friends and former colleagues on behalf of the university. The Taylor Collection, named for the founder of the university's art department, presents rotating exhibits by both established and upstart African-American Artists, in addition to work created by the university students and faculty.
Annually, The University of North Carolina spends roughly $227 million a year on energy In 2009, the UNC Board of Governors adopted Environmental Policies reflective of the UNC System's commitment to lead the State of North Carolina to a more sustainable future. The goal of the initiative is to reduce energy consumption by 30% at all UNC institutions and affiliates by 2015.
Since 2003, North Carolina A&T has reduced energy use by 21%. According to research conducted by the university, the energy efficiency measures currently in place inside the 123 buildings on the campus have saved enough energy to meet the power needs of 760 households for a year. In the 2011–12 fiscal year alone, a 32.5 billion BTU's reduction in energy helped the university avoid $386,274 in costs. Under The University's Strategic Energy Plan, N.C. A&T has implemented Energy efficiency measures such as: comprehensive energy audits to identify improvement needs; development of a retro-commissioning process for existing buildings; energy efficient lighting retrofits throughout the campus; and the development of green network strategies.
In the area of green building, the university is in the process of developing a green building policy that will require the use of sustainable and green building practices wherever feasible and practical on future construction. As of 2014, there are two green building initiatives being conducted on the campus. The Proctor School of Education Building utilizes green roof technology in addition to other sustainable components aimed at reducing storm water run off and energy demands for air conditioning in the summer months. In 2013, the university broke ground on a new student health center. The two-story, 27,548 square-foot facility will replace the existing Sebastian Health Center, which was constructed in 1958. Expected to be completed in the summer of 2014, the new Student Health Center will be a LEED silver building and the university's first completely green facility.
Through these efforts towards sustainability and environment friendly university management, N.C. A&T was ranked 10th, out of 301 institutions from 61 countries, in the 2013 The Universitas Indonesia (UI) GreenMetric World University Sustainability Ranking. Additionally, the university ranked 5th among 164 institutions in the category of Campus Setting (Urban) and 9th among 224 institutions in the Comprehensive Higher Education category.
Organization and administration
North Carolina A&T is one of 16 public universities that constitute the University of North Carolina System. As a constituent institution of the UNC System, NC A&T is governed by a Board of Governors and administered by a president. The 32 voting members of the Board of Governors are elected by the State General Assembly for four-year terms. The current President of the UNC System is Thomas W. Ross.
Each of the UNC campuses is headed by a chancellor who is chosen by the Board of Governors on the president's nomination and is responsible to the president. The current Chancellor of NC A&T is Harold L. Martin Sr. In 2009, Martin became the 12th Chancellor of the university, and first alumnus to serve in the position, following the resignation of his predecessor, Stanley F. Battle.
Prior to his appointment as chancellor, Martin was the senior vice president for academic affairs at The University of North Carolina, General Administration where he led the development and implementation of the University’s academic mission, including teaching, research, international programs and student affairs. Martin currently serves on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges and Schools and on the boards of technology nonprofit MCNC and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation. Previously, he served on advisory committees of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, chaired the board of directors of the Southern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering, and served on the boards of trustees of the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the NC Board of Science and Technology, and the NC Biotechnology Center Advisory Board.
Board of Trustees
In the UNC System, each university has their own board of trustees. N.C. A&T's Board of Trustees consists of eight members elected by the Board of Governors, four appointed by the governor, and the president of the student body, who serves as an ex officio member. The current Chair of the Board is Patricia Miller Zollar. Zollar is a Managing Director of independent asset management firm Neuberger Berman. Other Trustees include: Willie A. Deese, Executive Vice President and President of the Merck Manufacturing Division, Spence Broadhurst, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer for NewBridge Bank, and Janice Bryant Howroyd, Chairman and CEO of the Act-1 Group.
Budget and endowments
The 2013–2014 budget totaled $244 million, with $160 million (65.5%) from the state of North Carolina and $34 million coming from contracts and grants. Although state funding provides for a majority of the NC A&T's budget, the university's budget for the 2014 fiscal year has dropped by $6.3 million due in part to Governor Pat McCrory submitted a proposal for budget cuts to the General Assembly that recommended reductions to the UNC System. As of 2012 the university endowment was valued at just over $28 million.
North Carolina A&T is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), which is one of the six regional accreditation organizations recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. As of 2012[update], the university had an enrollment of 8,923 Undergraduate, 1,713 Graduate, and 253 Doctoral Students.
N.C. A&T offers undergraduate degrees in 177 undergraduate degrees in eighty-four majors in the eight schools and professional colleges. Bachelor's programs are offered through the NC A&T Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Engineering, the Schools of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Business & Economics, Education, Technology, Nursing, and the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, a collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro). The university also offers thirty master's degrees and eleven doctoral concentrations, through nine doctoral degree programs. Master's and doctoral programs are offered through the Schools and colleges in agriculture and environmental sciences, arts and sciences, business and economics, education, engineering, technology, and the joint school of nanoscience and nanoengineering. According to data released by the University of North Carolina System, N.C. A&T awarded 1,313 bachelor degrees, 456 masters degrees and 29 doctoral degrees in the 2012–2013 academic year
Schools and colleges
The university offers 177 undergraduate degrees in 103 majors through seven of its colleges and schools. The university also offers seven minor degree programs to undergraduate students. There are 30 master degree programs, with 45 concentrations, and 9 Doctoral degree programs, with 11 concentrations offered through eight of its Colleges and schools.
Bachelor's programs are offered through the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Engineering, the School of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences, the School of Business & Economics, the School of Education, the School of Nursing, and the School of Technology.
Master's and Doctoral programs are offered through the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, the School of Graduate Studies, the School of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences, the School of Business & Economics, the School of Education, the School of Technology and the Joint School of Nanoscience & Nanoengineering.
|Current Schools of North Carolina A&T State University|
|Undergraduate||College of Arts and Sciences
|College of Engineering
|School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
|School of Education
|School of Nursing
|School of Business and Economics
|School of Technology
|Graduate||School of Graduate Studies
|Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering
|U.S. News & World Report||Not Published|
Institutional rankings of North Carolina A&T vary widely, depending on the criteria of the publication. For instance, in the 2012 edition of the Washington Monthly college rankings, NC A&T ranked 33rd among national universities. The Washington Monthly assesses the quality of schools based on social mobility (e.g., percentage of Pell Grant recipients who graduate),in which the university ranked 2nd in the nation, academic quality (e.g., percentage of graduates who go on to earn PhDs), and community service.
According to the 2014 issue of U.S. News & World Report's "Historically Black College & Universities (HBCU) List", N.C. A&T was ranked 8th nationally; criteria include tuition & fees, total enrollment, fall acceptance rate, retention, and graduation rates In U.S. News’ Best Grad School edition, the university ranked 75th for industrial, manufacturing and systems engineering and 104th for social work. The university came in at 152nd for best undergraduate engineering programs and 246th for high school counselor ratings also listed in the Best Colleges edition. N.C. A&T was also ranked 106th for online bachelor’s programs, 18th for best online graduate computer information technology programs, and 85th for best online graduate education programs.
(out of 1600)
Admission to North Carolina A&T is rated as "less selective" by U.S. News & World Report. In 2013, the university received over 6,000 applications and admitted 56.5% of those that applied, The university maintains a Rolling Admissions program. Of those students admitted, SAT scores range 390–480 in Critical Reading, 370–460 in writing, and 410–500 in Math. According to the US News, 85.4 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid, and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $5,023.
Incoming freshmen are eligible to receive either the Lewis and Elizabeth Dowdy or the National Alumni Association Scholarships. The Lewis and Elizabeth Dowdy Scholarship, named after the university's 6th chancellor and his wife, covers the full cost of tuition and is available to students with a 3.75 high school GPA and a minimum 1200 SAT or 26 ACT score. The National Alumni Association Scholarship, provided by the NC A&T National Alumni Association, also covers the full cost of tuition and is available to students with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and a 100 or 22 ACT score.
North Carolina A&T is a member of the Southeastern Universities Research Association and classified by the The Carnegie Foundation as a doctoral-granting high research activity university. In the 2012 fiscal year, The university conducted over $29 Million in academic and scientific research. As of 2013, the university ranks third in sponsored funding among University of North Carolina institutions, with a total of $56.86 million of awarded funds. Of that total, over 90% were funds awarded from federal agencies.
As a Land-grant university, N.C. A&T's research focus include the areas of: Aerospace and transportation systems; Biomedical research; Biotechnology and Bioscience; Computer and computational science; Defense and National security; Energy and the environment; Food science; Human health, Nutrition, and Wellness; Nanotechnology and Multi-scale materials; Social and Behavioral sciences; and Transportation and Logistics.
The university operates sixteen research centers and institutes and maintains partnerships with government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, and the National Space Foundation, which in 2008 awarded $18 million in grants for an Engineering Research Center.
Nine interdisciplinary research clusters enable scholars to exchange ideas and explore research areas and to work with industry, other research organizations, and the community. NC A&T research clusters include Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, Biotechnology & Biosciences, Computational Science and Engineering, Energy and Environment, Information Systems and Technology, Leadership and Community Development, Logistics and Transportation Systems, Public Health, & Social and Behavioral Sciences.
|Major Research Projects|
|Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials
(National Science Foundation)
|CREST Bioenergy Center
(National Science Foundation)
|Center for Behavioral Health and Wellness||Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies||Center for Advanced Studies in Identity Sciences|
|Source: N.C. A&T Division of Research and Economic Development (DORED)|
|Asian American/Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islander||< 1%|
|Native American/Alaskan Native||< 1%|
North Carolina A&T has a total undergraduate enrollment of 8,923, with a gender distribution of 45.6 percent male students and 54.4 percent female students,with 80% of students being North Carolina residents, 4% being international students and the remainder coming from other areas of the US. As a Historically Black University, the racial make up of the student body is 88.11% African American and 13% non-African-African. Under the university's strategic plan dubbed "Preeminence 2020," the university plans to increase the non-African-American student population to 30% by the year 2020.
Roughly 35% of students live in university owned, operated, or affiliated residence halls, apartments and residential communities. Over 4,000 students live in N.C. A&T's 15 residence halls and upperclassman and graduate apartment building. The majority of residence halls on campus are coeducational. Of the remaining residence halls, 20% are female only and 10% are single sex male residence halls. Students can also apply to live in living-learning communities, which consists of specially-themed residential areas with specially designed academic and social activities for its residents such as The Honors and International Programs Community; Teaching Fellows Program; and communities which focus on creating unique living experiences. Each residence hall has its own hall government, with representatives in the Residence Hall Association. Despite the availability on-campus housing, the residence halls are complemented by a variety of housing options. 65% of students live off-campus, mostly in the areas closest to campus, in either apartment communities or former single-family homes.
The university residence halls offer a variety of living options, from double occupancy traditional to single occupancy suite and apartment living. The area known as North Campus provides Traditional, Suite, and Apartment style living options for students residing on campus. North campus residence halls include: Cooper Hall, Alex Haley Hall, and The Aggie Village. The Aggie Village, commonly referred to as simply "The Village," are the newest residence halls built on campus. Completed in 2005, the centrally located six building complex contains four three-story residential buildings, two administrative buildings with offices and classroom space. The four residential units within the complex are named for Ezell Blair, Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, and David Richmond; collectively known as the A&T Four and replaced the former W. Kerr Scott Hall which was ceremoniously demolished on July 11, 2004. South campus provides all Traditional style residence halls. South campus residence halls include: Barbee, Curtis, Holland, Morrison, Morrow, and Vanstory Halls. Barbee Hall, built in 1980, is the tallest building on campus, besides Aggie Stadium. The six story residence hall is named for Zoe Parks Barbee, one of the first African American commissioners of Guilford County, houses 388 students. East campus provides Suite, and Apartment style living to students. The residence halls on East Campus are: Pride Hall, The Aggie Suites, and Aggie Terrace. Both the Aggie Suites and Pride hall were financed through the North Carolina A&T University Foundation and were completed in 2001 and 2005 respectively.
Student Government Association
The North Carolina A&T State University Student Government Association, commonly referred to as simply the SGA, is the undergraduate student government of N.C. A&T. The present SGA is an outgrowth of the Student Council of N.C. A&T, which was restructured in 1935 from an earlier organization by the same name. The mission of the SGA is to Create an atmosphere of freedom that allows students to move beyond the limits of traditional interests by being a creative and contributing individual; Aid in a meaningful interpretation of the concept of the university community; Provide opportunities for each student to participate in activities that develop and realize potentialities; and Create awareness of national and international affairs and of their significance for the individual.
Student organizations and activities
Student organizations are registered through the Office of Student Activities, which currently has a registry of over 120 student organizations that covers a variety of organizations including national honor and drama societies; departmental, social and hometown clubs; performance groups; student military; fraternities and sororities; residence councils; the Student Union Advisory Board; and classes.
The Council of Presidents serves as the governing body of registered and recognized student-run organizations at North Carolina A&T. The council is a participatory body composed of the student organization presidents designed to serve as a liaison which assists, governs, and advocates for the registered and recognized student organizations on the campus of N.C.A&T and their respective memberships.
The Blue and Gold Marching Machine, the university's marching band program provides music for campus events. Established in 1918, the 200 plus member marching band, has performed on national stages such as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Honda Battle of the Bands, and the Bank of America 500.
The A&T Register and "The Voice" WNAA 90.1 FM are the official media outlets of the university. Students of the university contribute to both "The Register" and the campus radio station. The Register was first published in 1894. Currently, the student newspaper is published every Wednesday during the fall and spring semesters. The A&T Register has won numerous awards over its history, and is recognized locally, statewide, and nationally as one of the premier HBCU publications. In 2013, The Register was awarded first place in newswriting and second place in Opinion writing by the North Carolina College Media Association. The Register also earned awards from the 2914 National HBCU Student News Media Conference. The paper was awarded second in the "Best News Coverage" and "Best Student, Non-regular production, Newspaper" categories; and third in the "best design tabloid or broadsheet" category.
Started in 1966 as WANT 620 AM, The campus radio station started with the donation of a refurbished radio console from local radio station WEAL. Because The FCC mandated that college radio stations could not compete with commercial radio, WANT was transmitted out of Price Hall on closed circuit A.M. radio transmitted to strategic buildings on campus via cable. The first day's broadcast carried, in part, remarks from the campus Board of Trustees and then president Lewis C. Dowdy. WANT continued operation until 1979, when the campus station switched to an F.M. format, and became WNNA 90.1 FM. In 1982 the station transitioned from the conventional 18 hour college radio format to a full 24 hour broadcast format, and in 1984 installed a new tower to increase wattage from 10 to its current 10,000 watts of power, being able to broadcast as far as 45 miles (72 km). Today, WNNA is broadcast both over the air and on-line, serving the Greensboro, High Point Winston-Salem metropolitan radio market.
Through the Journalism and Mass Communication department, students manage "The JOMC Journal," a student generated multimedia news platform, a state-of-the-art High Definition Television studio, and The Aggie Media Group, a public relations agency that provides services including: Media Relations, Quantitative and Qualitative research; social media, community, publicity campaigns and event planning.
The Greek System at North Carolina A&T dates back to the 1910s, and is home to 18 recognized organizations including eight of the nine of the historically African-American National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Fraternities and Sororities, national service, honorary, and professional organizations. Currently, roughly 1.4% of undergraduate male students are members of a Fraternity, while roughly 1.2% of undergraduate female students are members of a Sorority.
Active fraternities at NC A&T include Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed community service fraternity; Kappa Kappa Psi, a national honorary Band fraternity; and Pershing Rifles, is a military fraternal organization for college-level students: and social fraternities Phi Beta Sigma, the oldest Greek lettered organization on the campus, chartered in 1915; Alpha Phi Alpha, Iota Phi Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, Lambda Chi Alpha; Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a collegiate social fraternity for men with a special interest in music; Omega Psi Phi, and Groove Phi Groove.
Active sororities at the university include Chi Eta Phi, a professional association for registered professional & student nurses; Tau Beta Sigma, a national honorary band sorority; and social sororities Alpha Kappa Alpha; Delta Sigma Theta; Zeta Phi Beta; Sigma Gamma Rho; and Swing Phi Swing.
Annual events on the campus celebrate North Carolina A&T traditions, alumni, sports, and culture. In early March, the university celebrates Founders' Day, which observes the anniversary of the founding of the university.
Homecoming, which usually occurs in the month of October, coincides with a home football game, and festivities such as tailgating, class and departmental events, nightlife and social functions, musical and comedy concerts, pep rallies, student showcases, fraternity & sorority step shows, a parade, and the coronation of Mister and Miss North Carolina A&T, the university's Homecoming King and Queen. Dubbed the "Greatest Homecoming on Earth" by students and alumni, the week long celebration brings in an influx of 20,000 to 40,000 alumni and guests to the city. In a 2011 study conducted by the Greensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau, the economic impact from homecoming was measured at $11.3 million.
Commencement exercises date back to the university's first graduating class in 1899. In 2012, the university awarded 1,953 total bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees. Two commencement programs are scheduled each year for the university. Students who complete degree requirements during the summer sessions and the Fall semester are invited to participate in the December commencement exercise, while Students who complete degree requirements in the Spring are invited to participate in the May commencement services. Notable speakers include Dr. Mary Elizabeth Carnegie, distinguished educator and champion for the preservation of the history of African-American nurses; Frank Porter Graham, Former president of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and senator; Donna Brazile, political analyst and Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee; and First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.
North Carolina A&T fields a total of 15 varsity sports; 6 for men and 9 for women. The varsity teams participate in the NCAA's Division I. The university's teams generally compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), although the women's swimming team competes in the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA). Previously, the university was a member of the NCAA Division II Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) from 1924, until departing in 1970 to form the MEAC.
The school's athletic teams are known as the Aggies, and represented by a Bulldog Mascot. The term "Aggie" has long been used to refer to students who attend agricultural schools. Hence the reason the university adopted the nickname at the time of the school's founding.
As of 2013, the Aggies have earned 46 MEAC and CIAA regular-season and tournament titles. The men's basketball team has earned 16 total conference regular-season and tournament championships, including an eight consecutive titles in the 1980s. In 2013, the Aggies made history when the team won their first Division I post-season game defeating the Liberty Flames in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. The women's basketball program has had success in their own right. The Lady Aggies have claimed six MEAC regular season and two MEAC tournament championships. Their most notable accomplishments include advancing to the regional semifinals in the 2010 Women's National Invitation Tournament, making them the first Division I HBCU program to win two games in a Division I post-season tournament.
Besides basketball, N.C. A&T has been nationally successful in both football and track and field. The Aggie football team has claimed six MEAC and five CIAA conference championship. The Aggies have also won three Black college football national championships. The Aggie men's and women's track and field program has produced 65 individual MEAC champions, and five All-Americans; four MEAC Outdoor championships, One MEAC Indoor championship, and in 2005, placed fifth in the 4x100 meter relay in the NCAA Division I national championship.
A&T's archrival is North Carolina Central University. Commonly referred to as the "Aggie-Eagle rivalry," this particular rivalry dates back to 1924 and fans from both universities place great emphasis on it. The most-watched event in the rivalry was the 1997 meeting between the two at Carter-Finley Stadium in which over 48,000 spectators watched the Aggies defeat the Eagles 36–7. Other rivalries include South Carolina State University and the recently renewed rivalry with Winston-Salem State University.
North Carolina A&T's alumni base is around 40,000 strong. These proud alumni have excelled in fields ranging from education, civic leadership, activism, to athletic; and spread the Aggie tradition throughout the nation. Scientists such as Ronald McNair, former NASA Astronaut who perished on the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, graduated magna cum laude from the university with a degree in engineering physics in 1971. There have been some alumni that are notable for being pioneers in their fields such as Former Chief of the United States Army Nurse Corps Clara Leach Adams-Ender, who was the first woman to receive her master's degree in military arts and sciences from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and also the first African-American nurse corps officer to graduate from the United States Army War College.
N.C. A&T graduates have served in government on many levels including local, state, the United States Senate and United States House of Representatives, such as North Carolina House of Representatives member Alma Adams, Retired politician Edolphus Towns who represented the state of New York in the United State House of Representatives, Pennsylvania House of Representatives member Jake Wheatley, and former politician Jesse Jackson Jr. who represented the state Illinois U.S. House of Representatives.
N.C. A&T alumni have long been associated with political activism and civil rights, including Ezell Blair Jr, Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, and David Richmond, known collectively as the Greensboro Four, who staged sit in demonstrations a Greensboro Woolworth's lunch counter that refused to serve customers of color; and founder of the Rainbow and PUSH Coalition Jesse Jackson.
The University has also had leaders in business pass through its halls such as Janice Bryant Howroyd, founder and CEO of the ACT-1 Group, the nation's largest minority woman-owned employment agency, and Joe Dudley founder, president and CEO of Dudley Products Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of hair and skin care products for the African American community.
N.C. A&T alumni have also excelled in athletics such as Al Attles, one of the first African-American professional basketball coaches in the NBA, Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Elvin Bethea, and 4x Super Bowl champion, Dwaine Board.
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