Clark Atlanta University was formed in 1988 when Clark College (which was founded in 1869) was merged with Atlanta University (which was founded in 1865). The consolidation of two prestigious HBCUs, with rich histories, traditions, and academic programs, led to the rise of the largest collegiate institution in the Atlanta University Center Consortium. Today, Clark Atlanta University is known for its undergraduate and graduate degree programs, NCAA Division II sports teams, and its commitment to educating the next generation of African-American leaders.
Location: 223 James P Brawley Drive, S.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30314-4391
Phone: (404) 880-8000
Type: 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Colors: Red, Black, and Gray
Motto:“I'll Find a Way or Make One” (Atlanta University); “Culture for Service” (Clark College)
Campus housing: Yes
Student population: 3,941 (3,267 undergraduate)
Student-to-faculty ratio: 17 to 1
Atlanta, GA & The CAU Campus
The main campus is located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, with more than 35 academic, administrative, and student support buildings that are spread out over 126 acres of land. Due to its central location, Clark Atlanta University is accessible from all major freeways in the area, including I-20, I-75, I-85, and I-285 of the State and Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.
Clark Atlanta University History
In 1865, Atlanta University was founded by the American Missionary Association to teach African-American students. A few years later, Clark College was founded by the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church to educate freed slaves.
Over the course of the next three decades, Clark College and Atlanta University began granting bachelor’s degrees to black students throughout the American South. During the 20th Century, Atlanta University added graduate degrees and professional training to its list of academic programs, building a stellar reputation as the nation’s oldest graduate institution for a predominantly African-American student body.
To improve the economic strength and academic prowess of both institutions, Clark College and Atlanta University were consolidated into Clark Atlanta University in the 1980s. Today, Clark Atlanta University is a proud member of the Atlanta University Center Consortium and the United Negro College Fund.
Clark Atlanta University Majors & Graduate Programs
Clark Atlanta University offers more than 40 degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels, including 23 Clark Atlanta University majors across four academic schools – the School of Arts & Sciences, School of Business, School of Education, and School of Social Work. CAU’s doctoral degrees are some of the highest ranking degrees conferred to African-American students in the United States.
Clark Atlanta University Athletics
As an NCAA Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference member, the University provides a wide range of athletic opportunities in varsity sports, including baseball, basketball, football, track & field, cross-country, softball, tennis, and volleyball. But there is so much more to CAU than its sports programs: the university’s marching band, the Mighty Marching Panther Band, and its dance line, the Essence of CAU, are some of the most recognizable student groups on campus; in addition to their performances during Clark Atlanta University football games, the Mighty Marching Panther Band and the Essence of CAU were featured in the 2002 movie Drumline.
Clark Atlanta University Notable Alumni
Clark Atlanta University’s notable alumni include:
- James Weldon Johnson graduated from Atlanta University in 1894 and went on to become an author, professor, lawyer, diplomat, and civil rights activist. In addition to his many accomplishments as part of the NAACP, Johnson was also the US Consul to Venezuela and Nicaragua and the first African-American professor to be hired at New York University.
- Eva Marcille is an actress, model, and television personality who is known for her role on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Marcille attended Clark Atlanta University before winning the third cycle of America’s Next Top Model, which launched her career in film and television.
- Jacque Reid graduated with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Clark Atlanta University, before pursuing a career in TV and radio news. Today, Reid is known for her work on The BET Nightly News, The View, and NBC 4 New York.
Source: Clark Atlanta University