Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Archives and Special Collections

This LibGuide is published to promote access to the F. D. Bluford Library and Special Collections at North Carolina A&T State University, and research of A&T history remotely.

Early A&T Campus

1925 Aeroplane View

"Aeroplane View of Campus" from 1925-1926 Bulletin of the A&T College. 

"In September, 1899, I left home to enter school with $1.43. The distance by rail was a hundred miles. I borrowed $5.00 from my brother, who carried me to the station where I took the train for Greensboro. We reached the city about 12:30 P. M. and I was soon on the campus of the A. & T. College. Prof. C. H. Moore was then bursar, and after paying him $3.00 for board, I had fifty cents left for my month's laundry and no books."

- Charles Gaston Davis, '1907 from History of the American Negro and his Institutions, Volume IV North Carolina Edition, by A. B. Caldwell, 1921, pg. 667-668.

Tips for Researching This Time Period

North Carolina A&T State University is an 1890 Second Morrill Land-Grant Act public university located in Greensboro, North Carolina.

NAME CHANGES TO REMEMBER: In our earliest years, sometimes press articles would alter or incorrectly state the names of the college. The correct name is in bold, and alternative phrasings are listed to help with research.

1891 - 1915 - Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race - ["A. and M. College for the Colored Race", "A&M College For the Colored Race", "Colored A. and M. College of Greensboro", "North Carolina A. and M. College at Greensboro", "The Greensboro A. and M. College".] *PLEASE NOTE: "A. and M. College" was also the name for what is now NC State University in Raleigh; It was also referred to as the "A. and M. College at Raleigh".

1915  - 1957 - Negro Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina - [A. and T. College, A & T. College, A&T College of North Carolina]

FOUNDING DATE: March 9, 1891


Rev. Dr. John Oliver Crosby, Ph.D (1892 - 1896)

Dr. James Benson Dudley (1896 - 1925)


Timeline, 1891 - 1925

The first Morrill Act was passed by the U.S. Congress granting to each state and territory a certain amount of land, the proceeds of which were to be used to establish at least one college. The main purpose of the college was to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes.

The second Morrill Act, which provided funds to support the instructional program in the Land-Grant Colleges, was passed by Congress on August 30th. The Board of Trustees of the A. and M. College in Raleigh was empowered to make temporary arrangements for Negro students so that the College could qualify for funds under the second Morrill Act. Instruction for Negro students was begun at Shaw University in Raleigh in Agriculture, English, Horticulture and Mathematics involving four teachers and 37 students.

The North Carolina General Assembly on March 9th ratified the Act establishing the "A. and M. College for the Colored Race". Its purpose was "to teach practical agriculture and mechanic arts and such branches of learning as relate there to, not excluding academic and classical instruction".

The first meeting of the Board of Trustees of the A. and M. College for the Colored Race was held on June 23rd.

The Board of Trustees voted on March 3rd to locate the college in Greensboro. Durham, Mebane, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston also made applications. The citizens of Greensboro had contributed 14 acres of land and $11,000.
John Oliver Crosby was elected the first President of the College by the Board of Trustees on May 25th.
The main building which was called "the college building" was completed. "It was a multi-purpose building that was used for dormitories for men and women, food service, classrooms and offices. It was destroyed by fire in 1930."  - Gibbs, Warmoth T. History of The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College. Dubuque, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown Book Company, 1966.

The first college catalog was published which showed photographs of the main building, a dormitory, the names of the five teachers, the steward and the nine departments.
The student newspaper, "The Register," was first published.
Margaret Falkener is credited with organizing the Music Department.
Governor Ellis Carr became the first Governor of the state to visit the campus.
The Mechanical Building or the first Crosby Hall, was completed in the summer. The North Dormitory was completed which housed one hundred students in thirty-eight rooms. Both buildings were torn down in the 1960s.
Dr. James B. Dudley, principal of the Peabody School in Wilmington, North Carolina was selected as the second President. He served until 1925.


First Lady Susie B. Dudley wrote a play for commencement called "When Shall I Go To My Father". This play and performance is seen as the beginning of drama at A&T. 


A photographer is sent to the A&M College to take photos on behalf of W. E. B. DuBois, who would use them in the 1900 Paris World Exhibition. 
The first bachelor degrees are conferred by the college. The class motto was "No Steps Backward". The first degree recipients were:

William T. C. Cheek, B.S.
Isaac S. Cunningham, B.S.
Austin W. Curtis, B.Agriculture
Epps L. Falkner, B.Agriculture
James M. Joyner, B.Agriculture
Peter E. Robinson, B.Agriculture
Adam Watson, B.S.

Ms. Frances T. Grimes of Asheville, NC is the first woman to earn a bachelors degree from the college.
Enrollment was restricted to males only. Florence Garrett and Hannah A. Bullock, class of 1902, are the last female bachelors recipients for another 27 years. Women could only attend the summer school sessions for teachers during that time.
The College developed an 100-acre farm equipped with the latest in farm machinery and labor-saving devices.


South Dormitory (later renamed Old Vanstory Hall) was completed. It was designed by Professor Adam Watson, one of the first 7 graduates of the college. 

The name of the College was changed to "Negro Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina" by an Act of the General Assembly.

1917 - 1919

90 percent of students and 1 in 5 faculty/staff serve in World War I. The most famous student veteran was Simon A. Haley '1918, father of author Alex Haley. 

Lieutenant Robert L. Campbell was presented a Distinguished Service Cross on the campus of A&T for his service in France.
The Junior Unit of Army R.O.T.C. was inaugurated. This two-year program continued until the Senior Division R.O.T.C. was begun in 1942.


Actor and speaker Richard B. Harrison begins teaching drama and elocution during the A&T Summer School sessions.

Noble Hall, the oldest standing building on campus is completed. It was originally called the Agricultural Building.


Morrison Hall and Murphy Hall are erected on the A&T Campus. 


President Dudley dies on April 5. 

Dr. Ferdinand D. Bluford was selected as the third President and served until 1955.
A&T became a member of the Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), later renamed the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.