Savannah State University
|Latin: Lux Et Veritas|
|Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youth,
Georgia State College,
Savannah State College
|Motto||(Latin: Light and Truth)|
|Established||November 26, 1890|
|President||Cheryl Davenport Dozier [A]|
|Address||3219 College Street, Savannah, Georgia 31404, United States
|Campus||210-acre (849,839.8 m2), coastal setting|
|Athletic Director||Sterling Steward Jr.|
|Colors||Burnt orange and reflex blue
|Athletics||NCAA Division I|
|Nickname||Tigers and Lady Tigers|
|Affiliations||Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC)|
track and field (m)
track and field (w)
Savannah State University is a four-year, state-supported, historically black university (HBCU) located in Savannah, Georgia, United States. It is the oldest public historically black university in the state. Savannah State University's mission statement is "to graduate students who are prepared to perform at higher levels of economic productivity, social responsibility, and excellence in their chosen career fields of endeavor in a changing global community."  The University is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
Savannah State operates three colleges (College of Business Administration, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, College of Sciences and Technology) and the Office of Graduate Studies and Sponsored Research (OGSSR). It also participates in research centers and programs at the Center for Teaching, Learning and Academic Support; Savannah Entrepreneurial Center; the Midtown Project; the Georgia Institute of Technology Regional Engineering Program (GTREP); and "A Collaboration to Integrate Research and Education in Marine and Environmental Science and Biotechnology" with the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, part of the University of Georgia.
- 1 Demographics
- 2 Administration
- 3 History
- 4 Academics
- 5 Campus
- 6 Student life
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
The student body consists of approximately 3,800 graduate and undergraduate students, and 385 full-time instructional faculty.
Oversight is provided by the University System of Georgia, the organizational body that sets goals and dictates general policy to all public educational institutions in the state.
Savannah State is a public institution, receiving funds from the State of Georgia, tuition, fees, research grants, private scholarship funds (including the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and the Tom Joyner Foundation), and alumni contributions. The University System of Georgia is governed by the Georgia Board of Regents and dispenses public funds (allocated by the state's legislature) to Savannah State, excluding lottery-funded HOPE Scholarships. The university's endowment was $2,433,508. As of FY05, the university's budget was $42,155,964. In FY06, the university received $7,725,311 in research, instruction, and public service contracts and grants.
|1890||Established as Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youth |
|1891||Relocated from Athens to Savannah |
|1921||First female students admitted as campus residents|
|1928||Became a full four-year degree-granting institution; high school and normal programs were removed|
|1932||Renamed Georgia State College |
|1947||Land-grant designation transferred to Fort Valley State College|
|1950||Renamed Savannah State College |
|1996||Renamed Savannah State University |
Savannah State University was founded as a result of the Second Morrill Land Grant Act of August 30, 1890. The act mandated that southern and border states develop land grant colleges for black students, as their systems were segregated. On November 26, 1890 the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation creating the Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youth.
A preliminary session of the school was held in the Baxter Street School Building in Athens, where Richard R. Wright Sr. was principal. The college operated in Athens for several months in 1891 before moving to its permanent location in Savannah on October 7, 1891, with Wright as the first president. The school had five faculty members. Its eight students were all graduates of Edmund Asa Ware High School, the first public high school for blacks in Augusta.
The college awarded its first baccalaureate degree in 1898. In 1921 the first female students were admitted as residents on the campus. In 1928 the college became a full four-year degree-granting institution and ended the high school and normal school programs. Normal schools had been created in the 19th century in many state systems in the United States, after the German model, to educate teachers for elementary school students. With the expansion of towns across the US, and continuing issues in trying to educate four million freedmen and their descendants, there was an urgent need to establish many new schools and to quickly train teachers in the North and the South. States used normal schools for training teachers for primary school grades and sometimes secondary school as well. Normal schools or colleges tended to have two or three-year programs. Gradually the normal schools were converted to full colleges with four-year curricula, or were left behind.
In 1932 the college became a full member institution of the University System of Georgia and its name was changed to Georgia State College. The college served as Georgia’s land-grant institution for African-American students until 1947. The designation was then transferred to Fort Valley State College. In January 1950, the college changed its name to Savannah State College.
With the growth in its graduate and research programs, in 1996 the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia elevated Savannah State College to the status of state university and the name was changed to Savannah State University.
Savannah State University is the first institution in the state of Georgia to offer the homeland security degree program. It was the second institution in the University System of Georgia to offer wireless Internet connectivity to students throughout the campus.
Students may choose from 23 accredited undergraduate baccalaureate and 5 graduate master's degree programs offered through the university's colleges. The University has developed new partnerships that expand the range of programs and resources for students. Taking advantage of its location on the coast, the university's Marine Biology Department operates two research vessels: the R/V Sea Otter (a 35 ft (11 m) twin diesel vessel owned by NOAA) and the R/V Tiger (a 22 ft (6.7 m) outboard work boat). In the fall of 2007 Savannah State teamed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to offer a new course in environmental regulations, so students can deepen understanding of policy and implementation issues. The program also helps them learn about specific environmental topics.
Savannah State University administers an HIV/AIDS and substance abuse prevention and awareness program funded by a grant from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Savannah State University also has achieved fully accredited programs in specialized areas of science and engineering:
- Civil engineering technology (Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology)
- Electronics engineering technology (Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology and National Association of Radio and Telecommunications Engineers, Inc. (NARTE))
- Mechanical engineering technology (Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology)
The bachelor and masters programs in Social Work are accredited by the (Council on Social Work Education), and the masters in Public Administration by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.
The College of Business Administration is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, and the Mass Communications Department is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).
Savannah State University is located approximately 5 miles (8 km) east southeast from the center of Savannah, 250 miles (402 km) from Atlanta, and 120 miles (193 km) from Jacksonville, Florida. The campus is accessible from Interstate 95 and Interstate 16. Spanish moss drapes the dense live oak trees, while palm trees, magnolias, and a wide variety of azaleas, camellias, and other native plants are scattered throughout the 201-acre (813,418.1 m2) marsh-side campus.
The original campus consisted of 86 acres (348,030 m2) and three buildings (Boggs Hall, Parsons Hall and a farmhouse), with 51 acres (206,390 m2) of the land serving as the school's farm. Several of the campus' older buildings were originally constructed by students and faculty members, and display architectural styles from the past century.
The Georgia Historical Commission and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources have recognized both the Savannah State campus and Hill Hall as a part of the Georgia Historical Marker Program.
Hill Hall at Savannah State College
|Architectural style||Classical Revival|
|NRHP reference #||81000197|
|Added to NRHP||1981|
Walter Bernard Hill Hall, built between 1900 and 1901 by students studying manual arts and blacksmithing, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. The facility had a variety of uses, including a bookstore, student center, male dormitory, and library. Needing too much renovation for continued use, the building was closed in 1996. The university and community created the Hill Hall Restoration Project to raise money for the project. After restoration, the building was reopened in 2008. It houses the university's Enrollment Management Center, a presidential suite, administrative offices, a lecture hall, a banquet room, and a small museum.
Tiger Arena is the 6,000-seat multi-purpose arena which serves as the home for the university's basketball team and athletic department offices. Ted A. Wright Football Stadium is the home of the university's football team and has an Olympic outdoor track. The 7,500-seat multi-purpose stadium opened in 1967. The track was constructed in 1995.
On October 15, 2007 Savannah State broke ground on a new academic building which was dedicated on May 1, 2009. It includes 10 classrooms, three lecture rooms, three computer labs, and applied research and observation labs. The building also houses the Africana studies exhibit, the Dean of Humanities and faculty offices, Public Administration/Urban Studies, and the Social Work and Social and Behavioral Sciences departments.
The university offers organized and informal co-curricular activities, including 75 student organizations, leadership workshops, 15 intramural activities, student publications and student internships.
Wesleyan Gospel Choir
The SSU Wesleyan Gospel Choir was established in 1971. In 2004 the choir completed and released a live album, entitled RLW: "Revelation, Love, & Worship". Members of the Wesleyan Gospel Choir participated in the NBCAHF Inaugural Gospel Explosion competition in 2006 and the International Gospel Retreat, which aired on The Word Network. In 2007 the choir performed at the Dr. Bobby Jones International Gospel Music Industry Retreat, which was also broadcast on The Word Network. The choir performed with Ann Nesby during the 13th annual Savannah Black Heritage Festival.
Marching Tiger band
The university band, nicknamed the "Powerhouse of the South", performs during Savannah State football games. They were featured performers in the Honda Battle of the Bands in 2004 and 2005.
National fraternities and sororities
|Alpha Kappa Alpha||ΑΚΑ||Gamma Upsilon||ΓΥ|
|Alpha Phi Alpha||ΑΦΑ||Delta Eta||ΔΗ|
|Delta Sigma Theta||ΔΣΘ||Delta Nu||ΔΝ|
|Iota Phi Theta||ΙΦΘ||Eta Gamma||ΗΓ|
|Kappa Alpha Psi||ΚΑΨ||Gamma Chi||ΓΧ|
|Omega Psi Phi||ΩΨΦ||Alpha Gamma||ΑΓ|
|Phi Beta Sigma||ΦΒΣ||Gamma Zeta||ΓΖ|
|Sigma Gamma Rho||ΣΓΡ||Alpha Iota||ΑΙ|
|Zeta Phi Beta||ΖΦΒ||Rho Beta||ΡΒ|
Other national fraternities and sororities with registered chapters currently on campus include:
|Delta Sigma Pi||ΔΣΠ||Kappa Chi||ΚΧ|
|Iota Phi Lambda||ΙΦΛ|
|Phi Beta Lambda||ΦΒΛ|
|Phi Alpha Delta||ΦΑΔ|
|Kappa Kappa Psi||ΚΚΨ||Lambda Upsilon||ΛΥ|
|Delta Phi Omega||ΔΦΩ|
At one time Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity had a registered chapter at Savannah State.
The Tiger's Roar
WHCJ radio station
Established in 1975 and known as "the Voice of Savannah State University", WHCJ's current play formats include gospel, jazz, reggae, blues and salsa music, as well as talk shows, commentaries, and cultural enrichment programming.
The Savannah State Tigers represent the university in college intercollegate athletics and are administered by the Savannah State University Athletic Department. The department dedicates about $2 million per year for its sports teams and facilities.
Savannah State University holds membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I as a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and participates in the following sports: football, baseball, basketball (men and women), cross-country (men and women), tennis (men and women), track and field (men and women), volleyball (women only), golf (men), and softball (women). In April 2017 Savannah State University President Cheryl Dozier announced the school intends to reclassify all athletic programs to Division II  The move back to Division II is expected to occur for the 2019-20 academic year. The Georgia school would end its membership in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, which it joined in 2010 
The school gained notoriety when they finished the 2004–2005 men's basketball season a winless 0–28, the first Division I team to do so since Prairie View A&M University in 1991–1992. The team’s final game (a 49–44 loss to Florida A&M) was covered by several national sports organizations including ESPN.
Savannah State University's competitive cheerleading team became the first team from a HBCU to win a national cheerleading title in February 2017. The 13-member team won a CheerSport National title for their top score routine.
- List of Savannah State University alumni
- List of Savannah State University faculty
- A.^ On April 19, 2011 the Georgia Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia voted not to renew Dr. Earl Yarbrough’s annual contract as president of the university. Cheryl Davenport Dozier was named as acting president of the university on April 21, 2011 and the Georgia Board of Regents plans to conduct a national search for Yarbrough's replacement. Dr. Dozier became the permanent president on May 9, 2012.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Savannah State University.|
- Elmore, Charles J. (1996). Richard R. Wright, Sr., at GSIC, 1891-1921: A Protean Force for the Social Uplift and Higher Education of Black Americans. Savannah, Ga.: privately printed.
- Elmore, Charles (2002). Savannah, Georgia. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub.
- Hall, Clyde W. (1991). One Hundred Years of Educating at Savannah State College, 1890-1990. East Peoria, Ill.: Versa Press.