Alabama State University was founded in 1867 when a coalition of black Southerners, Northern missionaries, and African-American church leaders was formed to start a school for former slaves. Under the leadership of nine freedmen, who are now known as the Marion Nine, the Lincoln Normal School opened its doors with only $500 in donations. Now ASU is one of the nation’s oldest institutions of higher education, founded by and for black Americans. With nearly five-thousand undergraduate students enrolled in 31 Alabama State University majors, a sprawling campus and several NCAA Division I sports teams, ASU will continue to raise the bar for historically black colleges and universities throughout the United States.
915 S Jackson Street
Montgomery, Alabama 36104-0271
Phone: (334) 229-4400
Type: 4-year, Public
Colors: Black and Old Gold
Motto: Opportunity Is Here
Campus housing: Yes
Student population: 5,705 (4,882 undergraduate)
Student-to-faculty ratio: 17:1
- Campus Events: Homecoming, Magic City Classic, Fall Convocation, Founder’s Day, Miss Black & Gold
- Greek Organizations: Yes
- Mascot: The Alabama State University Hornet
- Athletic Association: SWAC & NCAA Division I
- Athletic Programs: Football, Baseball, Basketball, Golf, Tennis, Track, Cheerleading, Soccer, Softball, Bowling, & Volleyball
Montgomery, AL & The ASU Campus
Alabama State University is located in Montgomery, Alabama on a beautiful 395-acre campus. The lush landscaping, historic landmarks, and state-of-the-art facilities are a testament to ASU’s proud past and bright future. The campus is also close to the state capital and downtown Montgomery, including venues like the Civil Rights Memorial Center, Rosa Parks Museum, and Montgomery Museum of Fine Art.
Alabama State University History
On November 13, 1867, the Lincoln School opened its doors in Marion, Alabama with 113 students. Less than a decade later, it became the nation’s first state-sponsored liberal arts institution for the higher education of blacks; this was the beginning of ASU’s rich history as a “Teacher’s College.”
In 1887, the school moved from Marion to Montgomery, where it was forced to change its name to the Normal School for Colored Students. Over the course of the next century, the institution would evolve into a junior college, four-year college, and eventually, a full-fledged university. It would also receive a new name: in 1969, the State Board of Education approved the decision to call the school Alabama State University.
Alabama State University Majors & Graduate Programs
Alabama State University has seven degree-granting colleges, including the College of Business Administration; College of Education; College of Health Sciences; College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences; College of Science, Technology Engineering, & Mathematics; College of Visual & Performing Arts; and University College. Through these schools, ASU offers 47-degree programs including 31 bachelor’s degree programs, 11 master’s degree programs, two education specialist programs, and three doctoral programs.
Alabama State University Athletics
Alabama State University has made its mark on the Southwestern Athletic Conference. In addition to Alabama State University football, students participate in baseball, basketball, golf, tennis, track, cheerleading, soccer, softball, bowling, and volleyball.
One of the most prominent features of ASU’s campus is Hornet Stadium, where the Alabama State University football team plays alongside the Mighty Marching Hornets, ASU’s marching band, and the Stingettes, ASU’s auxiliary dance team. The HoneyBees, ASU’s plus-sized dance squad, has become one of the most recognizable groups at the university, with national press coverage and a spectacular performance on America’s Got Talent.
Alabama State University Notable Alumni
- Rickey Smiley is a stand-up comedian, actor, and radio personality who is best known for his nationally-syndicated WHTA program, The Rickey Smiley Show. Smiley is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, which he joined during his time at ASU.
- After serving in World War II, Ralph Abernathy graduated from Alabama State University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He went on to become a Civil Rights leader, Christian pastor, and president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
- Tangi Miller is an actress, model, and dancer who is best known for her portrayal of Elena Tyler on Felicity. Miller graduated with a bachelor’s degree from ASU before moving to California to pursue her MFA.
Source: Alabama State University