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Bowie State University

Bowie State University
Former names
Bowie State College
Motto "Prepare For Life"
Established January 9, 1865 (1865-01-09)
Type Public, HBCU
Endowment $22,991,522
President Mickey L. Burnim, PhD
Provost Weldon Jackson, PhD. (Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs)
Academic staff
Students 5,561
Location Bowie, Maryland
Campus Suburban, 338½ acres (1.4 km²)
Colors Black and Gold
Athletics NCAA Division II
Sports Basketball
Cross Country
Indoor Track & Field
Outdoor Track & Field
Nickname Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs
Affiliations Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association

Bowie State University ("Bowie State"), is a public university located on 355½ acres (1.4 km²) in unincorporated Maryland, United States, north of the suburban city of Bowie. Bowie State is part of the University System of Maryland. Bowie State is Maryland's oldest historically black university[1] and one of the ten oldest in the country.[2] Bowie State is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.


  • Academics 1
    • Schools and departments 1.1
  • Campus and facilities 2
  • Organization 3
    • Department of Public Safety 3.1
  • Student life 4
    • Athletics 4.1
    • Clubs and organizations 4.2
      • NPHC Organizations 4.2.1
      • Social Organizations 4.2.2
  • Notable alumni 5
  • Notable faculty 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


BSU has 20 undergraduate majors, 20 master’s programs, two doctoral programs, 10 graduate certificate programs and 2 certificates of advanced study in disciplines as diverse as computer science, education, human resource development, organizational communication, and nursing. In partnership with the University of Maryland University College, Bowie State University became the first historically black university to include overseas studies. It was also the first university in the nation to offer a bachelor's degree in pedology. Programs include a rare doctoral degree in education leadership, a program for education administrators.[3]

In 1995, NASA and the National Science Foundation awarded $27 million as one of only six schools in the nation declared Model Institutions for Excellence in science, engineering, and mathematics. This led to a strengthening of the already growing computer science program; in 1999, the Maryland Higher Education Commission approved the school's additional focus in computers and technology. Since then new technology related programs including music technology and a strengthened computer science department have been added.

The university is home to The Maryland Center,[4] a not-for-profit organization founded in 1998 providing community services. In partnership with the federal General Services Administration, the campus hosts the Bowie State University Telecommuting Center, which has state-of-the-art workstations and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Telecommuting Center can be used by anyone.[5]

Schools and departments

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Education
  • College of Professional Studies

Campus and facilities

Martin Luther King, Jr. Communications Art Center

The campus comprises over 24 buildings with more than 988,897 square feet (92,000 m²) of space. The campus is located in Bowie, Maryland between the metropolitan areas of Baltimore (25 miles) and Washington D.C. (17 miles). An on-campus MARC Train station and Metrobus stops provide access to local transit. It is a wireless campus equipped with Wi-Fi and public computer labs across campus for student use. Twenty-three percent of students live on campus in seven residence halls. Cultural performances, lectures and sporting events are among the frequent on campus events. Built in 1921, the oldest building still in use is Harriet Tubman Hall. Inaugurated in Fall of 2013, the newest addition to the Bowie State University campus is the 85,000 square foot Student Union Building, which replaced the old Wiseman Center.[6] Other recent improvements to the campus have been the construction (and opening) of the $71 million state-of-the-art Fine & Performing Arts Center, which boasted 123,000 square feet for art, music, dance, and theater programs.[7] The construction of the massive facility has reduced congestion within its former home, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Arts Center.

The $17.6 million School of Business and Graduate Studies building is another state-of-the-art facility that houses the Business, Accounting, Finance, Economics, and Management Departments, among others.[8] The campus boasts several other excellent facilities such as the campus include the Christa McAuliffe Residential Community (CMRC) apartments, the Computer Science Building, a state-of-the-art facility serving the computer science and computer technology programs, and the $6.5 million Center for Learning Technology (CLT), serving the College of Professional Studies.

On campus, the Bowie State Satellite Operations Control Center (BSOCC) is an orbiting satellite operation and control center allowing students to gain hands-on experience in such a facility. In 2003, the center went fully operational. It is a joint venture operated by the university, the Honeywell Corporation, and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.[9]

In September 2007, the University began negotiations with Prince George's County for the transfer of 214 acres (0.87 km2) of land to the school. According to county documents, the land, valued at $1.3 million, would cost the University nothing if used "for educational uses including facilities that benefit the welfare of students and faculty in their educational experience at the University." The addition of this land would increase the size of the university by 63%. The main focus for the land is the development of additional student dorms. The land will also be used to establish several retail businesses that will cater to students and the community.[10]


Department of Public Safety

The Department of Public Safety (BSUDPS, BSUPD or Campus Police) is the primary law enforcement agency for the university and is charged with the protection of life and property in its 338.5 acres (1.370 km2) jurisdiction. The BSUPD is aided by the 2) of campus property.[11] All officers under the authority of the BSUDPS are "vested with full police authority under provisions of Title 13, Subtitle 6, Section 13-601, Educational Article, and Annotated Code of Maryland. In addition, police officers are granted additional jurisdictional authority as prescribed in the Criminal Procedure Act, Title 2, Subtitle 1, Section 2-102."[12]

The Department of Public Safety reports directly to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Life. In addition to enforcing laws of the State of Maryland and statutes of Prince George's County, the BSUPD is charged with enforcing regulations of the University and, as such, regulations are enforced internally and handled by the Dean.[13][14]

The current Chief of Police/Director of Public Safety is Ernest L. Waiters. The BSUPD has a complement of:[15]

  • 7 sworn officers (not including the Chief)
  • 3 communications dispatchers
  • 10 public safety aides (non-sworn security personnel)

Student life


Bowie State's athletes compete in the Northern Division of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, participating in the NCAA's Division II.

The Bulldogs play the following sports:[16]

  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Indoor Track & Field
  • Outdoor Track & Field
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

They compete and/or train on-campus in Bulldog Stadium, the Leonidas James Physical Education Complex, and A.C. Jordan Arena.[17]

Clubs and organizations

Bowie State has many academic clubs, fraternities, honor societies, organizations, sororities, and student associations on-campus. The computer, education, French, and history clubs are examples of the academic clubs. The art guild, concert and marching bands, jazz and brass ensembles, and others allow students to explore the fine and performing arts.

NPHC Organizations

Social Organizations

The honor societies represented at BSU include Delta Mu Delta, Lambda Pi Eta, and Sigma Tau Delta. The student newspapers, and The Spectrum, along with WBSU Radio allow for students to monitor campus events and news.[18]

The Symphony of Soul, also known as SOS, is the name of the marching/concert/pep band at Bowie State University. Adolph E. Wright is the Director of Bands at Bowie State University, where he has successfully built the SOS from 30 members, upon his arrival at BSU in 1998, to 185 members by the fall of 2001. Under the leadership of Mr. Wright the Symphony of Soul has received rave reviews following collegiate performances, as well as when representing the University abroad.

Each year, the SOS takes a trip to Montreal, Canada to perform for the Montreal Alouettes. During the fall, students always expect the usual impromptu parade through the campus by the SOS. They were also a part of the NFL 2007-2008 season opener as they performed the National Anthem with Aretha Franklin and shared the stage with other recording artist such as Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and others. The SOS was featured in the Original Battle of the Bands held at RFK Stadium and its drumline was named as one of Showtime Magazines top ten amongst HBCU’s.

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Joanne C Benson Maryland State Delegate [19]
Gwendolyn T. Britt Maryland State Senator, 2004 [20]
Toni Braxton attended, but not graduate Singer, Songwriter [21]
Towanda Braxton Singer, Songwriter and member of the singing group The Braxtons [22]
Isaac Redman NFL running back for Pittsburgh Steelers [23]
Wale Folarin 2004 Attended but not graduated DC Rapper
Henry Frazier, III 1989 head football coach at Bowie State University, Prairie View A&M University, and North Carolina Central University [24]
Christa McAuliffe Teacher-astronaut killed in space shuttle accident. She earned her master's degree at Bowie State. [25]

Notable faculty

Name Department Notability Reference
Brenda DoHarris English and Modern Languages Author, Professor of English [26]
Dr. Marymal Holmes, soprano Music opera singer, recitalist, Professor of Music and Voice [27]


  1. ^ [10]
  2. ^ Bowie State University - About Bowie State
  3. ^ The page cannot be found
  4. ^ "Welcome". The Maryland Center. 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  5. ^ [11]
  6. ^ "Bowie State University Student Center | Portfolio". 2013-10-17. Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  7. ^ "Bowie State University Fine and Performing Arts Center | OneNews". Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  8. ^ The page cannot be found
  9. ^ The page cannot be found
  10. ^ Bowie State University plans could bring new dorms, retail
  11. ^ [12]
  12. ^ [13]
  13. ^ [14]
  14. ^ Delegation brings home funds for police department
  15. ^ [15]
  16. ^ [16] Archived June 15, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ [17] Archived July 16, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ [18] Archived February 19, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Joanne C. Benson". Copyright December 03, 2013 Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Gwendolyn T. Britt". Copyright February 20, 2013 Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  21. ^ "Toni Braxton". 2004-2014 by the Georgia Humanities Council and the University of Georgia Press. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  22. ^ "Towanda Braxton". 2014 Inc. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  23. ^ "Isaac Redman". Pro Football Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  24. ^ "Henry Frazier, III". North Carolina Central University. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  25. ^ "Christa McAuliffe". NASA. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  26. ^ "Brenda DoHarris". College of Arts & Science, Bowie State University 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  27. ^ "Marymal Holmes". 2014 Bowie State University. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Official athletics website

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