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Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University

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Title: Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University  
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Collection: 1875 Establishments in Alabama, African-American History of Alabama, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, Educational Institutions Established in 1875, Historic Districts in Huntsville, Alabama, Historically Black Universities and Colleges in the United States, Land-Grant Universities and Colleges, Landmarks in Alabama, National Register of Historic Places in Huntsville, Alabama, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Properties on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage, Universities and Colleges Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Universities and Colleges in Huntsville, Alabama
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Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University

Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University
Motto Service is Sovereignty
Established 1875
Type Public, HBCU
Land grant
Endowment $119 million
President Andrew Hugine, Jr.
Undergraduates 5,333[1]
Postgraduates 1,143[1]
Location Normal, Alabama, U.S.
Campus Suburban, 880 acres (3.6 km2)
Colors Maroon and White
Athletics NCAA Division I FCS
Southwestern Athletic Conference
Nickname Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs
Mascot Butch
Affiliations APLU
Website .edu.aamuwww

Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, also known as Alabama A&M University or AAMU, is a public, historically black, land-grant university located in Normal, Alabama, United States.[2][3] AAMU is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Founded in the 1870s as a normal school, it took its present name in 1969. Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University Historic District, also known as Normal Hill College Historic District, has 28 buildings and 4 structures, listed in the United States National Register of Historic Places.


  • History 1
    • Campus 1.1
  • University profile 2
    • Students 2.1
    • Faculty 2.2
    • Academics 2.3
  • Colleges, Schools and Departments 3
    • Facilities 3.1
  • Student life 4
    • Student Government Association 4.1
    • Student activities 4.2
    • Other student organizations 4.3
    • Alabama A&M University Choir 4.4
    • Telecommunications program 4.5
    • Academic achievement 4.6
  • Athletics 5
    • Media 5.1
  • Alumni Chapters By Region 6
  • Notable alumni 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • Additional reading 10
  • External links 11


William Hooper Councill (center), lawyer, editor and founder of Huntsville Normal School (later Alabama A&M University), posing with some of his students.
William Hooper Councill Statue
William Hooper Councill Statue

Alabama A&M was originally established by an act of the Alabama State Legislature in 1873 as the State Normal School and University for the Education of the Colored Teachers and Students. Peyton Finley introduced twin bills in the State Board of Education for the establishment of four normal schools for whites and blacks in 1875. In that same year, Arian Milani became founder of Alabama A&M University. Land on which much of the original campus was built, was acquired from the Conley Family, a prominent local family established in the early 1800s. Members of the family have attended as students, or worked as staff, at Alabama A&M in each year of the school's operation since its founding in 1873.

By 1878, the state appropriation increased to $2,000 and the school changed its name to the State Normal and Industrial School. Industrial training began in 1883. In 1885 the name was changed to State Normal and Industrial School of Huntsville.

Presidents of Alabama A&M[4]
William Hooper Councill 1875–1909
William Buchanan 1909–1920
Theophilus Parker 1921–1927
Joseph Fanning Drake 1927–1962
Richard Morrison 1962–1984
Douglas Covington 1984–1987
Carl Marbury 1987–1991
David Henson 1992–1995
John Gibson 1996–2005
Robert R. Jennings 2006–2008
Andrew Hugine, Jr. 2009–present

By 1890, the students numbered 300, with 11 teachers, the school site became known as Normal, Alabama, and a post office was established. Students were called "Normalites." In 1891, the school was designated as a land-grant college through legislative enactment February 13 and received funds as a land-grant college under the terms of the Morrill Act of 1890. In 1896 the name was changed to The State Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes.

In 1919, the school became the State Agricultural and Mechanical Institute for Negroes, and in 1948 it was renamed the Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College. In 1939, the State Board of Education granted authority to offer course work on the senior college level. In 1949, the name changed to Alabama A&M College. AAMU became fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1963. Finally, in June 1969, the school adopted its current name. In July 1996, the Board of Trustees appointed Dr. John T. Gibson as the university’s ninth president and the one who would ultimately lead the institution into the new millennium. A native of Montgomery, Ala., and a graduate of Tuskegee University and the University of Colorado-Boulder, Gibson immediately began implementation of his ambitious "eight-step plan".

The Gibson administration saw the construction of the huge, visionary West Campus Complex, the erection of the 21,000-seat Louis Crews Stadium, the renovations and re-roofing of key buildings and the moving of athletic programs to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The long-awaited School of Engineering and Technology facility was built in 2002, and the Ph.D. program in Reading and Literacy was established.


Alabama A&M University Historic District
Area 291 acres (118 ha)
Architectural style Classical Revival, Modern Movement
NRHP Reference # 01001407[5]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP December 31, 2001
Designated ARLH August 25, 1994[6]

On May 1, 1875, the school opened with a state appropriation of $1,000, 61 pupils, and two teachers at its first location on Clinton Street in Huntsville. In 1881, the school was moved to first school-owned property on West Clinton Street (the land upon which the Von Braun Center is presently located) known as the "Dement Place." The property on West Clinton Street was deeded to the State of Alabama by trustees in 1884.

In 1885, the state appropriations were increased to $4,000 and a building erected for industrial training through $1,000 grant from the Slater Fund.

On September 30, 1891 the present site of 182.73 acres (739,000 m²) was purchased, with the largest tracts acquired from two branches of the Conley Family. Morris and Hurt Halls were subsequently named for two of the Conley Family members. The school expanded to include agriculture and home economics and Palmer Hall (named for State Superintendent Solomon Palmer) and (Governor Thomas) Seay Hall were built with student labor.

The first library on the campus was built with funds from the Carnegie Foundation in 1904 for $12,000, and was named for its benefactor, Andrew Carnegie. In the 1940s, it was remodeled at a cost of $70,000 and provided additional book stacks and reading rooms. The library was two stories tall, and with a little over 4,000 square feet (370 m²); it served several purposes and housed the offices of the President, Business Manager and Treasurer, Home and Farm Demonstration Agents, the U.S. Post Office at Normal, and on the second floor, living quarters for male faculty. In 1947, the library was enlarged 5,000 square feet (460 m²), which reflected the college's growth. So rapid was the college's student growth that they even outgrew the nearly 10,000 square foot (930 m²) library, and in 1962, a new Reference Annex was added. In January 1968, a new 60,000 square foot (5,600 m²) library was completed and occupied and was named in honor of Dr. Drake. It was designed to house 300,000 volumes and 1,000 students. In 1972, the Educational Media Center and the Library merged to form the Learning Resources Center, which incorporates interactive and multi-media. In 2002 the competition of the latest renovation saw the LRC become a 75,000-square-foot (7,000 m2) structure now housing over 400,000 volumes, digital research sources and other student oriented services.

In 1911, McCormick (Hospital) Hall and Councill Domestic Science Building were erected and Bibb Graves Hall was constructed in 1929. The university hired the noted Olmsted Brothers firm in 1927 to design a master plan for the campus. The firm continued to oversee campus planning and landscape architecture until 1959.[7]

In 1994, the Mamie Labon Foster Student Living/Learning Complex erected. Groundbreaking was held for new School of Business facility in 1995 and stadium and residence hall construction began. In 2001, earth work began on new School of Engineering and Technology, library renovations underway and the athletic complex was expanded. The Engineering and Technology building construction was completed in 2002 and opened for classes in January 2003. The Learning Resources Center renovations were completed in 2002 . The renovation added over 15,000 square feet (1,400 m²), an interactive Distance Learning Auditorium, conference, study and class rooms, lounges, and computer lab. The entire campus is served by the Bulldog Transit shuttle bus system.

Alabama A&M Campus, fondly known as
Alabama A&M Campus, fondly known as "The Hill."

University profile


  • From 44 states and 11 foreign countries
  • 5333 undergraduates and 1,123 graduate students, (Fall 2014).[8]
  • 42 percent first-time college students
  • Middle 50th percentile on ACT: 17–18
  • 93 student clubs and organizations
  • 75 percent student participation in community service projects


  • 20:1 student-faculty ratio
  • Fewer than 40 students in 86 percent of courses
  • 348 faculty members across all undergraduate, graduate and professional programs


  • 41 Baccalaureate, 23 Master’s, 1 EdS and 4 doctoral degrees offered.
  • Degrees conferred: BA, BGS, BS, BSCE, BSEE, BSET, BSME, EdS, MBA, MEd, MEng, MS, MSW, MURP, PhD.
  • Honors Program available for academically exceptional undergraduate students.

Colleges, Schools and Departments


The AAMU Student Health and Wellness Center opened during Fall of 2010.
  • The J.F. Drake Memorial Learning Resources Center (LRC) houses approximately 256,884 volumes, 2,200 journals and is a partial depository for government documents. The University Archives located on the third floor has a collection of documents, records, correspondence and photographs related to AAMU.
  • The State Black Archives Research Center and Museum, a part of the LRC, is housed in the James H. Wilson Building, a national registered historical structure.
  • The AAMU Small Business Development Center provides free counseling to small businesses in seven counties. Client services also include workshops, a business planning resource room, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Supportive Services.
  • The Agribition Center is designed to host almost any kind of event, including trade shows and agricultural events.
  • Louis Crews Stadium is home of the AAMU’s Bulldogs football team. The multi-purpose stadium seats 21,000 and is the sixth largest stadium in Alabama.
  • The Student Health and Wellness Center is staffed with full-time licensed health care professionals. It offers gynecological services, limited dermatology services, nutrition services, sports medicine, and psychological and counseling services.

Student life

Student Government Association

Alabama A&M University's Student Government Association is the overall student governing body and is responsible for many of the activities and programs designed and executed by students for students. It is composed of 2 main sections, the executive board of ten (10) elected officers and a 28-member council that is elected by the respective classes and includes each class president. Each of the ten executive board officers are required to do fifteen office hours per week. All students enrolled at Alabama A&M University are members of the student body and are entitled to representation by a governed body.

Student activities

The Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development (OSALD) provides services, programs and co-curricular experiences that provide students with opportunities to develop skills, improve leadership competencies, and enrich their college experience. OSALD has oversight of and provides assistance to several student-led organizations:

  • Programs and Activities Council
  • Student Government Association
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council
  • Social Greek Council
  • Student Publications
NPHC Fraternities NPHC Sororities
Alpha Phi Alpha Alpha Kappa Alpha
Kappa Alpha Psi Delta Sigma Theta
Omega Psi Phi Zeta Phi Beta
Phi Beta Sigma Sigma Gamma Rho
Iota Phi Theta

Other student organizations

Alabama A&M University Choir

In May 2008, the Alabama A&M University Choir was slated to participate in the American Choral Music Festival in Leipzig, Germany. In 2007, the choir became the first HBCU choir to be invited to attend the American Choral Festival in Germany. On Thursday, January 21, 2010 the choir performed a historical concert at the Alabama Music Educators Association (AMEA) Annual Conference. This was a historical event because the choir was the first HBCU Choir in the state to perform at that conference. In 2014, the choir was invited by the Distinguished Concerts International of New York (DCINY)to be presented in concert at the Lincoln Center in New York, NY.

Telecommunications program

In 2008, Telecommunications students played an active role on campus. Katherine Mitchell and Alexandria Jackson created the A&M's news show Hump Day. In 2009, Brandon Blevins and Brandon "Wizeman" Lewis created a series of Alabama A&M University short films including Ebony Fire, Tone of Demise 2 and Matters of the Heart.

Academic achievement

[10] In 2015, A team of students from the Department of Finance and Economics of Alabama A&M University's College of Business and Public Affairs recently placed third in the annual Tennessee Valley Authority Investment Challenge Program. The challenge gave hands-on experience to student teams in managing real stock portfolios. AAMU students actively managed TVA funds by designing long-term investment strategies, placing trades and providing performance reports to TVA. The AAMU's TVA Investment Challenge team earned 16.33 percent return, compared to 13.69 percent for the S&P 500 Index. That placed AAMU third out of the 25 participating schools, outperforming such participants as Vanderbilt University and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

In 2009, the AAMU Dairy Team captured silver honors in the 8th National North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge. In 2010, the AAMU Dairy Team won the Gold Award in the 9th National North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge.


Fans watch Alabama A&M's football team during Homecoming 2014.

Alabama A&M's sports teams participate in NCAA Division I (Football Championship Subdivision, formerly I-AA for football) in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Alabama A&M's colors are maroon and white and their mascot is the Bulldog. The Alabama A&M Department of Athletics sponsors men's intercollegiate basketball, football, baseball, cross country, golf, tennis and track & field along with women's intercollegiate tennis, basketball, soccer, track, cross country, bowling, volleyball and softball. Also offered are men's and women's swimming clubs. The football team's home games are played at Louis Crews Stadium. Both men's and women's basketball home games are played in Elmore Gymnasium, affectionately known by fans as "The Dog House."[11]


Alabama A&M University is the licensee for National Public Radio affiliate station WJAB 90.9, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week on campus.[12]

Alumni Chapters By Region

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Don Calloway 2002 politician, Member of the Missouri House of Representatives from the 71st district
Dannette Young-Stone 1986 former track athlete, who won Olympic gold and silver medals in the 4 X 100 relay in 1988 and 1992 [14]
Marc Lacy 1991 Author, spoken word poet, lecturer, and government contractor
KD 2007 Singer-songwriter, record producer, rapper
Howard Ballard former National Football League player (2 time Pro-Bowler, 4 time Super Bowler)
Michael Crooms Music Producer
Robert Mathis National Football League NFL Pro Bowl defensive end for Indianapolis Colts
Frank Kearse National Football League defensive tackle for the Washington Redskins
Jamaal Johnson-Webb 2012 current NFL offensive lineman
Sun Ra attended jazz musician
Bama Boyz Music Producers
Mickell Gladness 2008 former NBA player
Mfana Futhi Bhembe 2008 former soccer player for the Bulldogs who went on to play in soccer leagues in Swaziland and in Major League Soccer.
Sylvester Croom, Sr. minister and community leader in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Father of first African-American SEC head football coach Sylvester Croom Jr.
John Stallworth 1974 (MBA 1986) National Football League Hall of Fame member, former Pittsburgh Steelers player; four time Super Bowl champion; four time Pro-Bowler
Ruben Studdard attended (received football scholarship) American Idol season 2 winner
Barry Wagner former Arena Football League player
L. Vann Pettaway 1980 former men's head basketball coach
Cleon Jones former Major League Baseball player
Brick Haley 1988 NFL and College football defensive coach
Jean Harbor 1986 former soccer player for the Bulldogs who went on to play in various soccer leagues in Nigeria and the United States
Lwazi Maziya former soccer player for the Bulldogs who went on to play with Mbabane Swallows of the Swazi Premier League and the Swaziland national football team.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Alabama A & M University". Archived from the original on 10 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  2. ^ "Results". Commission on Colleges. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  3. ^ "What are Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)?". Department of the Interior. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  4. ^ "Alabama A&M University History" (PDF). Alabama A&M University History. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  5. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  6. ^ "Properties on the Alabama Register of Landmarks & Heritage". Alabama Historical Commission. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "NRHP Registration" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places. 2001. 
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^

Additional reading

  1. Morrison, Richard David. History of Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University: 1875–1992. Huntsville, Ala. : Liberal Arts Press, c1994.
  2. ^ "Results". Archived from the original on 11 December 2005. Retrieved 23 November 2005. 
  3. ^ "Historically Black Colleges and Universities". Archived from the original on 10 December 2005. Retrieved 23 November 2005. 
  4. ^ "WJAB Jazz & Blues!!". Archived from the original on 8 November 2005. Retrieved 23 November 2005. 

Saintjones, Jerome. (2011) Normal Index Online. Alabama A&M University. Normal, AL

External links

  • Official website
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