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.
SPECIAL COLLECTIONS AVAILABLE FOR RESEARCH: John O. Crosby Box 0001