Winston-Salem State University
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|Motto||Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve.|
|Location||Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States|
|Colors||Red and White
|Athletics||NCAA Division II - CIAA|
Winston-Salem State University (WSSU), a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, is a historically black public research university located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States. It is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. WSSU is an accredited university offering baccalaureate and graduate programs to a diverse student population.
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Dr. Simon Green Atkins distinguished himself in his home state of North Carolina as an advocate of teacher-training programs for African Americans. He founded a small school, Winston-Salem Teachers College, that he developed into Winston-Salem State University, a four-year institution, and oversaw its transition from private to state control. His abiding interest in teacher-training also led him to become a founder of the North Carolina Negro Teachers Association.
The oldest child of a brick layer and former slaves Allen and Eliza Atkins, Simon Green Atkins was born on June 11, 1863, in the village of Haywood, in Chatham County, North Carolina, between Sanford and Raleigh. His town flourished during the period just after the Revolutionary War, but by the late 19th century the railroad and the neighboring town of Moncure had overshadowed it. At one time the area was considered as a location for the state capital as well as the state university. As a child, Atkins worked on a farm with his grandparents.
Atkins studied in the town school under pioneer black educators who came from St. Augustine's Normal and Collegiate Institute (later St. Augustine's College in Raleigh). One of these was Anna Julia Cooper, later prominent for her work as an activist, scholar, feminist, and school administrator in Washington, D.C. This cadre of educators went out into remote communities to teach rural blacks. Atkins also taught at the town school for a while before his college years, and in 1880 he enrolled in St. Augustine's. He spent summers teaching in the rural schools of Chatham and Moore counties.
After he graduated with distinction in 1884, renowned educator and orator Joseph Charles Price, president of Livingstone College, an African Methodist Episcopal Zion church-supported institution in Salisbury, North Carolina, invited Atkins to join his faculty. Atkins agreed and became grammar school department head. He spent six years at Livingstone (1884–90) and spent the last two years of his tenure there in the dual role as educator and treasurer of the college. During summer months he conducted institutes for black teachers in various counties.
The town educators of Winston (before its merger in 1913 with Salem to become Winston-Salem) lured Atkins to the post as principal of the Depot Street School, where he remained from 1890 to 1895. This was the state's largest public school for African Americans. His work with the North Carolina Negro Teachers’ Association (NCNTA), which he helped to organize about 1881, had stimulated his interest in teacher-training schools for blacks. He directed this group as it established the foundation for a standard black teachers’ college in the state.
Soon after he began his duties at Depot Street, he intensified his efforts to build such a school for African Americans and sought assistance from the Winston Board of Trade, Chamber of Commerce, and local white residents. By then, the state had begun plans to fund an agricultural college for its African American residents; hearing this, Atkins sought funds to locate the new college in Winston. Local support for this move was good, as the black community donated $2,000, R. J. Reynolds of tobacco fame contributed $500, and Atkins obtained 50 acres (200,000 m2) of land along with the backing of the Chamber of Commerce. Although Atkins lobbied the state legislature in Raleigh on behalf of this plan, Winston and its residents lost out to nearby Greensboro, where citizens offered 14 acres (57,000 m2) of land and $11,000.
Winston-Salem State offers over 40 academic majors and 10 graduate degrees. The school enrolls approximately 6,400 students and employs 400 faculty and over 800 staff members.
Winston-Salem State University was ranked the #7 top college in the United States by the Social Mobility Index college rankings.
Winston-Salem State has been ranked #27 by U.S. News & World Report in the Top Public Comprehensive Baccalaureate Colleges of the South category between 2001 to 2009. By 2016, the university had fallen to a ranking of #84 in the same category.
Winston-Salem State University is currently a member of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) in NCAA Division II. From the 2007–08 season through the 2009–10 season, the Rams competed in the NCAA's Division I Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), despite being a transitional member that was attempting to attain full membership within the MEAC or within NCAA Division I, in which the Rams were also scheduled to begin full membership and gain access to NCAA tournaments in 2011. However, it never occurred due to financial difficulties.
Its colors are red and white and the university mascot is a ram.
In 1967, Winston-Salem State became the first Historically Black College to win an NCAA Basketball Championship. The Rams won the College Division Championship with a 31-1 record. They were led by high-scoring guard Earl Monroe, who averaged an amazing 41.5 points per game that season before being selected second overall in the 1967 NBA draft by the Baltimore Bullets.
Winston-Salem State played in the 2012 Division II National Championship football game on December 15, 2012. They lost, 35-7, to Valdosta State University, finishing the season, 14-1, the best of any historically black college/university. The team was led by head coach Connell Maynor and All-American quarterback Kameron Smith.
In August 2010, Winston-Salem State University reinstated their baseball program after a 37 year hiatus. Despite only being the first year of the program, the baseball team managed to win the CIAA Conference Championship and move on to the Atlantic Regional. The team again won the CIAA Conference Championship in 2012, 2013, and 2014, making that four consecutive conference championships in the first four years of the program. The team also achieved success in the 2013 season by earning the program's first ever national ranking of No. 23 in the country while also hosting the 2013 NCAA Atlantic Regional.
National fraternities and sororities
All of the National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations currently have chapters at Winston-Salem State University except Delta Sigma Theta sorority, who were recently suspended for a 10-year period in April 2010. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated has been reinstated with the university as of December, 2014. The remaining organizations are:
|Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority||ΑΚΑ||Gamma Lambda||ΓΛ|
|Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity||ΑΦΑ||Beta Iota||ΒΙ|
|Iota Phi Theta fraternity||ΙΦΘ||Kappa||Κ|
|Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity||ΚΑΨ||Delta Chi||ΔΧ|
|Omega Psi Phi fraternity||ΩΨΦ||Mu Epsilon||ΜΕ|
|Phi Beta Sigma fraternity||ΦΒΣ||Delta Alpha||ΔΑ|
|Sigma Gamma Rho sorority||ΣΓΡ||Rho||Ρ|
|Zeta Phi Beta sorority||ΖΦΒ||Omega||Ω|
Other National fraternities and sororities with registered chapters are members of the Council of Independent Greek Organizations. The current members on campus include:
|Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity||ΦΜΑ||Mu Beta||ΜΒ|
|Tau Beta Sigma honorary band sorority||ΤΒΣ||Theta Upsilon||ΘΥ|
|Kappa Kappa Psi honorary band fraternity||ΚΚΨ||Kappa Lambda||ΚΛ|
|Pi Sigma Epsilon professional sales, marketing, and management fraternity||ΠΣΕ||Zeta Lambda||ΖΛ|
|Alpha Nu Omega Christian sorority||ΑΝΩ||Pi||Π|
|Kappa Omicron Tau sorority||ΚΟΤ||Beta Lambda||ΒΛ|
|Chi Eta Phi nursing sorority||ΧΗΦ||Chi Chi Beta||ΧΧΒ|
|Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity||ΑΦΩ||Tau Chi||ΤΧ|
|Swing Phi Swing social fellowship||SΦS||Groove|
|Sigma Phi Omega National Academic Honor & Professional Society in Gerontology||ΣΦΩ||Epsilon Alpha||ΕΑ|
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- Winston-Salem State University Brand Guide (PDF). July 20, 2017. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
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- "Historical Sketch - Winston-Salem State University - Acalog ACMS™". Catalog.wssu.edu. Retrieved 2016-09-10.
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