St. Augustine's University (North Carolina)

Coordinates: 35°47′10″N 78°37′13″W / 35.7861°N 78.6204°W / 35.7861; -78.6204
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Saint Augustine's University
Former names
Saint Augustine's Normal School (1867–1893)
Saint Augustine's School (1893–1919)
Saint Augustine's Junior College (1919–1928)
Saint Augustine's College (1928–2012)
MottoVeritas vos liberabit
Motto in English
The truth will set you free
TypePrivate historically black college
FounderJacob Brinton Smith
Religious affiliation
Christianity (Episcopal)
PresidentChristine Johnson McPhail
ProvostJosiah J. Sampson
Location, ,
United States
CampusUrban, 105 acres (0.42 km2)
ColorsBlue and White
Sporting affiliations
35°47′10″N 78°37′13″W / 35.7861°N 78.6204°W / 35.7861; -78.6204

Saint Augustine's University is a private historically black Christian college in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was founded by Episcopal clergy in 1867 for the education of freed slaves.[1]


Founded in 1867 as Saint Augustine's Normal School, the name of the school changed to Saint Augustine's School in 1893 and Saint Augustine's Junior College in 1919, when it began offering college-level coursework.[2] It began offering coursework leading to a four-year degree in 1927 and changed its name to Saint Augustine's College one year later with the first baccalaureate degrees awarded in 1931. In 2012, the institution again expanded its focus and changed its name to St. Augustine's University.[3]

In April 2014, in the midst of what The Chronicle of Higher Education characterized as "significant turmoil" and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education described as "financial problems...stemming from a loss in enrollment and revenue", the college's board of trustees fired university president Dianne Boardley Suber one month prior to her planned retirement. At the same time, the board reinstated two senior employees that Suber had recently fired. Suber had led the university for nearly 15 years.[4][5]

Everett Ward was appointed president in 2015 after serving as interim president since 2014.[6] Gaddis Faulcon was named interim president in 2019.[7]

Radio and television stations[edit]

Saint Augustine's University was the nation's first historically black college to have its own on-campus commercial radio and television stations (WAUG 750 AM, WAUG-TV 8, and Time Warner cable channel 10). It is one of two colleges or universities in the Raleigh/Durham area to offer a degree in film production.

Honorary degree for Robert Mugabe[edit]

Of the 5 colleges in the Western world which have awarded honorary degrees to controversial Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, Saint Augustine's University is one of only 2 which has not revoked the award (in this case, a Legum Doctor).

2011 social media controversy[edit]

In 2011, the college barred a student from participation in the 2011 commencement exercises because of a negative comment he had made on the college's Facebook page.[8] Shortly thereafter, the student initiated a lawsuit against the college in North Carolina State Court[9][10] which was later settled out of court.[11]

2013 summer camp employees controversy[edit]

In the summer of 2013, local news affiliates reported that two convicted murderers had been hired by the college to work for a children's summer camp.[12] Although the college defended the employees as "exemplary employees and productive members of the community",[13] the college reassigned them.[14]


St. Augustine's College Campus
St. Augustine's University (North Carolina) is located in North Carolina
St. Augustine's University (North Carolina)
St. Augustine's University (North Carolina) is located in the United States
St. Augustine's University (North Carolina)
LocationOakwood Ave., Raleigh, North Carolina
Area20 acres (8.1 ha)
Architectural styleLate Gothic Revival, Romanesque
NRHP reference No.80002903[15]
Added to NRHPMarch 28, 1980
Residence Halls
All-Male All-Female Co-Educational Inactive
Latham Hall, 1974
Freshman Residence
Weston Hall, 1986
Freshman Residence
FalkCrest Court, 2007
Upperclassmen Residence
Atkinson Hall, 1961
Boyer Hall, 1990 Baker Hall, 1963
Unclassified Residence
Lynch Hall, 1961
Athletic Upperclassmen Residence

The college's size is 105 acres (0.42 km2) of historic land in an Urban setting and large city (250,000 – 499,999). The main area of the campus is approximately 60 acres (240,000 m2) of land housing the following facilities:

Emery Gymnasium, George "Pup" Williams Track & Field Stadium, Penick Hall of Math & Sciences, Charles Mosee Building (Office of Academic Affairs), Delany Hall (Office of Financial Aid & Admissions), Joseph C. Gordan Health & Science Center, The Prezell R. Robinson Library, Cheshire Building (Division of Business), Tuttle Hall of Military Sciences, Goold Hall Student Union, Charles H. Boyer Administration Building (Office of the President), Hunter Administration Bldg., Hermitage Faculty Bldg., Benson Bldg. of Technology, Seby Jones Fine Arts Center, the Historic Chapel and:

  • St. Agnes Hospital - Rev. and Mrs. A.B. Hunter founded St. Agnes Hospital in 1895. I.L. Collins gave $600 of the $1,100 raised to start the hospital, which was named for Collins' late wife Agnes. The hospital opened in the residence of Robert B. Sutton, the school's third principal. By 1904, despite improvements, St. Agnes needed to expand, and Mrs. Hunter raised half the $15,000 needed.[16] Under the direction of Bishop Henry Beard Delany it became a 75-bed center[citation needed] "built of stone quarried on the St. Augustine's campus" that opened in 1909. For many years St. Agnes was "the only well-equipped hospital ... with one exception" for blacks between New Orleans and Washington D.C., and served 75,000 black people in the three states.[16] The building was severely damaged by fire in December 1926. One of its most famous patients was boxer Jack Johnson, who was taken there following a fatal 1946 auto accident near Franklinton, NC.[citation needed] Part of the building still remains, and is regarded as a historic property, but the hospital has not operated since 1961.[17]
  • Saint Augustine's College Historic Chapel - The college cornerstone was laid in 1895 under the guidance of Reverend Henry Beard Delany, the first African-American Bishop elected to the Episcopal Church and the first Bishop to graduate from the college. The chapel was made possible through the acquisition by the Freedmen's Bureau and is one of the oldest landmarks at St. Augustine's University. Current chaplain of the chapel is the Rev. Nita Johnson Byrd.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Reception Center Center - Built in 1973, it was previously the school's Student Union and now holds the cafeteria, mailing room, bookstore, and ballroom.

The campus hosts grades 11-13 of Wake Young Men's Leadership Academy.[18]

Student enrollment[edit]

In recent years, the college 's annual enrollment has approximated 800-1000 students, about half from North Carolina with the remainder coming from 37 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Jamaica, and 30 foreign countries. Its faculty consists of nearly 100 people.


Division of Business Division of Liberal Arts & Education Division of Social Sciences
  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Real Estate
  • Education
  • English
  • Human Performance & Wellness
  • International Studies
  • Journalism and Mass Communications
  • Philosophy & Religion
  • History & Political Science
  • Criminal Justice & Judicial Administration
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
Visual & Performing Arts Division of Natural Science & Mathematics Division of Military Science
  • Film and Theatre
  • Visual Art
  • Music
  • Biological and Physical Sciences
  • Pre-Med
  • Mathematics and Engineering
  • U.S. Army ROTC

Student activities[edit]

Clubs and activities[edit]

  • Student Honors Association
  • Student Leaders Organization
  • Student Government Association
  • Homecoming Committee
  • CAB (Campus Activities Board)
  • CFO (Christian Fellowship Organization)
  • New Beginnings Gospel Choir
  • BlueChip Cheerleading Squad
  • Collegiate 100 of the 100 Black Men
  • Carter G. Woodson History Club
  • FAME (Federation of Artist in Media Entertainment)
  • Falcon Poetry Club
  • Phi Beta Lambda (National Business Association)
  • Nubiance Modeling Troupe
  • Belle J'Adore Modeling Troupe
  • ISA International Student Organization
  • Marching/Jazz/Pep Band
  • Falcon Battalion/Army ROTC
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • Foreign Language Club
  • Falcons for the Cause
  • Falcon Fanatikz Pep Squad
  • Residence Halls Association
  • Psychology Club
  • SAC Association for Black Journalists
  • Sociology Club
  • Students in Free Enterprise
  • Students North Carolina Association of Educators (SNCAE)
  • TRIO Academic Achievers Program (Federally Funded Program) (First Generational Students)

Honor societies[edit]

Greek letter organizations[edit]

Social fellowships[edit]


Saint Augustine's competes in NCAA Division II in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Varsity sports include:

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Bernard Allen 1962 Educator and long-time lobbyist for the North Carolina Association of Educators; North Carolina House member, 2003–2006 [19]
Hannah Diggs Atkins 1943 first African-American woman elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives (1968–1980)
Luther Barnes 1976 Gospel music recording artist
Ralph Campbell, Jr. 1968 former North Carolina State Auditor; the first African-American elected to that position in North Carolina [20]
Travis Cherry Grammy Nominated Music Producer
Anna Julia Cooper writer, educator, one of the first African-American women to receive a PhD.
Bessie and Sadie Delany Bessie, 1911
Sadie, 1910
African Americans who published their best-selling memoir, Having Our Say, at the ages of 102 and 104, respectively [21][22]
Henry Beard Delany first African-American Episcopal Bishop
Hon. Hubert Thomas Delany American civil rights pioneer, a lawyer, politician, Assistant U.S. Attorney, the first African American Tax Commissioner of New York and one of the first appointed African American judges in New York City
Ruby Butler DeMesme 1969 former Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Manpower, Installations and Environment
Ramon Gittens Sprinter at the 2012 Summer Olympics [23]
Robert X. Golphin Actor "The Great Debaters"
Trevor Graham former track & field coach
Alex Hall former NFL linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, and New York Giants and currently in the Canadian Football League
Maycie Herrington documentarian of the Tuskegee Airmen and social worker [24]
Ike Lassiter the first NFL player ever from St. Augustine's College
William McBryar Medal of Honor recipient
Hon. James E.C. Perry 1966 Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida
Antonio Pettigrew 2000 Olympic gold medalist in the men's 4 × 400 meter relay for the United States. He also won the gold medal at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo.
Chaz Robinson professional football player
Lloyd Quarterman chemist who worked on the Manhattan Project


  1. ^ "Text only version- Raleigh: A Capital City: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary". Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  2. ^ "History -- St. Augustine's University". St. Augustine's University. St. Augustine's University. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
  3. ^ "St. Augustine's to become a university".
  4. ^ Nick DeSantis (April 7, 2014). "President of Saint Augustine's U. Is Removed Immediately". Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  5. ^ Reginald Stuart (April 7, 2014). "St. Augustine's Dianne Boardley Suber Out 'Effective Immediately'". Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  6. ^ Bruce Siceloff (April 10, 2015). "Everett Ward named president of St. Aug's University". News & Observer. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
  7. ^ WRAL (March 19, 2019). "St. Aug's chairman: 'You can't have two presidents'".
  8. ^ Parry, Marc (June 1, 2011). "'Negative' Facebook Post Gets Student Barred From Commencement – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education". Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  9. ^ Parry, Marc (July 11, 2011). "Graduate Sues College That Barred Him From Commencement – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education". Retrieved November 29, 2011.
  10. ^ "Complaint" (PDF). Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  11. ^ St. Aug's, student banned from commencement settle lawsuit – Education Archived January 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. (December 30, 2011).
  12. ^ Christina Ng (June 28, 2013). "Convicted Murderers Run North Carolina Kids Camp". ABC News. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  13. ^ Jon Camp (June 28, 2014). "Convicted killers run Raleigh kiddie camp". WTVD-TV. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  14. ^ Jodie Leese Gusco (June 28, 2013). "Convicted killers reassigned from St. Aug's Kiddie Kollege". WRAL. Retrieved April 10, 2014.
  15. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  16. ^ a b Haywood, Margaret (May 17, 1953). "St. Agnes Hospital fought to serve". News & Observer. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  17. ^ Leoanrd, Teresa (March 31, 2017). "St. Agnes Hospital fought to serve". News & Observer. Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  18. ^ "Welcome to the Wake Young Men's Leadership Academy". Wake Young Men's Leadership Academy. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  19. ^ "HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 5". Session 2007. North Carolina General Assembly. January 25, 2007. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
  20. ^ "Campbell Says He Would Be Effective Auditor". The Carolinian. Vol. 51, no. 44. April 23, 1992. pp. 13, 18.
  21. ^ "Annie Elizabeth "Bessie" Delaney". Columbia250. Columbia University. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
  22. ^ "Sarah Louise "Sadie" Delaney". Columbia250. Columbia University. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
  23. ^ "Ramon Gittens – Athletics – Olympic Athlete". Archived from the original on August 9, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
  24. ^ "Maycie Herrington". HistoryMakers. Retrieved November 29, 2013.

Relevant literature[edit]

  • Suttell, Brian. 2023. Campus to Counter: Civil Rights in Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina, 1960-1963. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press.

External links[edit]