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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.

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

c. 1891 portrait of Dr. J. O. Crosby Ph.D. John Oliver Crosby, the college’s first president, was reared in South Carolina and  educated in Raleigh, NC having attended Shaw University where he earned a degree in theology. Before becoming president of the newly organized Agricultural and Mechanical   College in 1892, Crosby served as moderator of the Rowan Baptist Association, principal of the State Normal School in Salisbury, NC and a pastor and delegate. He oversaw construction of the college’s first administration building and made the first of the bricks with which it was constructed. In 1894, Crosby planned the North Dormitory which housed one hundred students. He designed Crosby Hall which was known as the “finest structure of its kind throughout the southern states.” The North Dormitory was also completed in 1896. Under his administration, female students were admitted to the college in 1893 and remained there until the end of the session in 1901. They were not readmitted until 1928. It was also under his leadership that two academic departments   were created: agriculture and mechanical arts. In 1896, amid internal as well as external   criticisms, Dr. Crosby terminated his office as president and returned to Salisbury, NC   where he resumed his position as principal of the L. C. State Normal School.


Fun Facts about Dr. Crosby

  • Dr. Crosby established the Gold Dust, an African American Baptist newspaper in 1886. In 1894 he established the "A. and M. College Register". No copies of newpapers published under Dr. Crosby are known to exist today.
  • No known photographs of Dr. Crosby as the President, or on the old A&T Campus are known to exist today. Please check your attic!