After the college closed, many of its facilities became the Kittrell Job Corps Center campus. About 400 students learned trades or were transfer to a college to continue their educations. Trades taught include furniture making, culinary arts, and electronics. The school was reopened in 2020 by Stephanie Freeman, a long-time educator and entrepreneur who was determined to save the legacy of this HBCU.
The History of Kittrell College
Kittrell College was established in 1886 in a small but growing town called Kittrell, located in Vance County, North Carolina. Initially, it was a normal and industrial training school that focused on training teachers and artisans who could help to build and advance the communities in which they lived. "Kittrell College" became the school's official name in 1901, with its first two names being more closely associated with the school's original mission.
After financial hardships and other difficulties, Kittrell College closed its doors and was disbanded in 1975. The campus was later sold and then occupied by a federal job corp unit.
Kittrell College Lives Again
In 2014, a long-time educator and entrepreneur, Dr. Stephanie Freeman, was doing research on the history of various HBCUs when she came across an article about Kittrell College. Once she read the article, she became fascinated with Kittrell College and its mission. She, being a life-long North Carolinian, was shocked that she did not know anything about this vitally-needed institution. Later, she learned that Kittrell College was a two-year institution that specialized in vocational training and education and that its structure was a rarity among HBCUs. Since Freeman had always wanted her own school, she decided to do something that she had never considered before--re-open a defunct HBCU. In 2020, Freeman did what some said was not possible. She reestablished Kittrell College and wrote a letter to the HBCU Initiative in Washington, D.C. asking to have it formally recognized as an HBCU again. Freeman wanted to honor the original mission of the college by keeping it a two-year institution with vocational training and education still at the forefront. She plans to open the restructured Kittrell College in early 2021 with many of the original attributes but with a modern and innovative flare.
- Pee Wee Kirkland - former street basketball player and member of Kittrell's basketball team and averaged 41 PPG.
- William Henry Ferris - author, minister, and scholar. Editor of Negro World.
- Kittrell College historical marker
- Alumni of Kittrell College
- State Library of North Carolina: Selections from An Era of Progress and Promise, 1863-1910[permanent dead link]