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Celebrating 105 Years and Counting

Dr. James E. Shepard, a Durham pharmacist and religious educator, opened the National Religious Training School and Chautauqua for the Colored Race to 130 students on July 5,1910. Shepard declared its purpose to be “the development in young men and women of the character and sound academic training requisite for real service to the nation.”  
In 1915 it was sold and reorganized, then becoming the National Training School. In 1923 the state legislature appropriated funds to buy the school, and renamed it the Durham State Normal School. Two years later, the legislature converted the institution into the North Carolina College for Negroes, dedicating it to liberal arts education and the preparation of teachers and principals. The college thus became the nation’s first state-supported liberal arts college for black students.
The institution’s first four-year class graduated in 1929.
In 1969, the institution’s name was changed to North Carolina Central University (NCCU). In 1972, NCCU became one of 16 campuses in an expanded and redefined University of North Carolina system.
Over the past 105 years, the student population of NCCU has grown from 130 in 1910 to more than 8,000 students today. The institution has two state-of-the-art biotechnology research facilities - Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute (BBRI), and The Golden Leaf Foundation Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE) - which collaborate with pharmacy and biotech companies in nearby Research Triangle Park.
There are also seven colleges and schools: College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Education, School of Law, School of Library and Information Sciences and School of Graduate Studies.
The university boosts a proud and active alumni contingency of more than 30,000 Eagles, who are employed in occupations from university presidents, scientists and researchers, business executives and careers in education and the social sciences.
In 2010, NCCU celebrated its centennial marking 100 years of achieving and accomplishing a century of impacting Durham, the Triangle, North Carolina and the United States.
Five years later, in 2015, we are celebrating NCCU as a first-choice, premier institution that offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 100 fields of study and graduate degrees in about 40 disciplines.  Today, we continue to soar on the legacy of excellence!

Join us on Facebook and Twitter to show Eagle Pride!  Share and retweet the 105 Eagle Facts leading up to our 105th anniversary on July 5.


NCCU complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all programs and activities (including sexual harassment and sexual violence) in the University's educational programs and activities. For additional resources or to file a Title IX complaint, visit the NCCU's Title IX webpage.
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