|Natchez Seminary (1877–1883)|
Jackson College (1883–1940)
Mississippi Negro Training School (1940–1944)
Jackson College for Negro Teachers (1944–1967)
Jackson State College (1967–1974)
|Motto||"Challenging Minds, Changing Lives"|
|Type||Public historically black university|
|Established||October 23, 1877|
|Endowment||$60 million (2019)|
|Students||7,020 (fall 2019)|
|Undergraduates||5,152 (fall 2019)|
|Postgraduates||1,868 (fall 2019)|
|Newspaper||The Blue & White Flash |
|Colors||Navy Blue and White |
|NCAA Division I-FCS – SWAC|
Jackson State University (Jackson State or JSU) is a public historically Black university in Jackson, Mississippi. It is one of the largest HBCUs in the United States and the fourth largest university in Mississippi in terms of student enrollment. The university is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity". Jackson State University's athletic teams, the Tigers, participate in NCAA Division I athletics as a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The university is also the home of the Sonic Boom of the South, a marching band founded in the 1940s. Their accompanying danceline, the Prancing J-Settes, are well known for their unique style of dance, known as J-Setting.
Jackson State University developed from Natchez Seminary, founded October 23, 1877, in Natchez, Mississippi. The seminary was affiliated with the American Baptist Home Mission Society of New York, who established it "for the moral, religious, and intellectual improvement of Christian leaders of the colored people of Mississippi and the neighboring states". In 1883, the school changed its name to Jackson College and moved from Natchez to a site in Jackson, the capital. Today that site serves as the campus of Millsaps College.
Jackson College moved to its current location early in the 20th century, where it developed into a full state university.
In 1934, during the Great Depression, The Baptist Society withdrew financial support. The school became a state-supported public institution in 1940, known as the Mississippi Negro Training School. The name has since been changed to express development: Jackson College for Negro Teachers (1944). After desegregation, Jackson State College (1967); with the addition of graduate programs and expanded curriculum, Jackson State University (1974).
Main article: Jackson State killings
Many students at Jackson State College became active in the civil rights movement. Work to gain integrated practice and social justice continued after civil rights legislation was passed in the mid-1960s.
During an on-campus protest on May 14, 1970, two students were killed by police gunfire. An additional 12 students were injured by gunfire during the clash. A dormitory still bears the bullet marks fired on that day.
The main campus contains over 50 academic and administrative buildings on 245 acres (0.99 km2). It is located at 1400 John R. Lynch Street between Prentiss and Dalton Streets.
Ayer Hall was constructed in 1903 and is the oldest structure on the main campus. It was named in honor of the first president of the institution, Charles Ayer. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. Green-Gibb Pedestrian Walkway was named in honor of the two young men who died in the Jackson State shooting in 1970. As a result of the landmark "Ayers Settlement" in 2002, the university, along with the other two public HBCUs in the state, has completed extensive renovations and upgrades to campus.
Jackson State has satellite campuses throughout the Jackson Metropolitan area:
The board of trustees is the constitutional governing body of the Mississippi State Institutions of Higher Learning. This body appoints the President of the university. There are 575 faculty and 1,431 staff, of which 54% are tenured, teaching approximately 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
Interim presidents excluded
|U.S. News & World Report||293-381|
JSU colleges and schools include:
In 2015, JSU became the first university in Mississippi approved by the legislature to establish a School of Public Health which is housed under the College of Health Sciences. JSU is the only university in Mississippi to earn two consecutive "Apple Distinguished School" distinctions. Apple Inc. biennially acknowledges schools that uniquely incorporate technology into its curriculum. Since 2012, Jackson State University has provided all first-time, full-time freshmen brand new iPads to increase technology usage on campus. JSU is the first and only HBCU in Mississippi to support a bachelor's and master's level engineering program. JSU is one of only two universities in Mississippi with a comprehensive meteorology undergraduate level degree program. The W.E.B. Du Bois – Maria Luisa Alvarez Harvey Honors College is a selective interdisciplinary college at the university that provides a unique academic experience for the most high-achieving undergraduate students.
Tiger Battalion, the university's Army ROTC program is the host US Army ROTC program for Belhaven University, Delta State University, Hinds Community College, Millsaps College, Mississippi College, Mississippi College School of Law, Mississippi Valley State University, Tougaloo College, and University of Mississippi Medical Center's School of Nursing. Air Force Detachment 006 is the Air Force ROTC Component for the Jackson metropolitan area. Hosted at Jackson State, it also serves students from Belhaven University, Millsaps College, Mississippi College and Tougaloo College.
Main article: Jackson State Tigers
Jackson State is a member of the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Currently, JSU fields teams in basketball, track and field, cross country, baseball, softball, golf, tennis, soccer, bowling, volleyball, and football. The university's mascot is the Tiger, and the teams are sometimes referred to as the "Blue Bengals."
The Tiger men's football team has a heralded history, winning and sharing 16 SWAC titles, most recent in 2021. Its most famous alumni includes Pro Football Hall of Famers Lem Barney, Jackie Slater and Walter Payton, and former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith.
JSU participates in a number of notable football games with rival colleges. These include:
Main article: Sonic Boom of the South
The marching band began in the 1940s at what was then Jackson State College, under the directorship of Frederick D. Hall, who had directed a band at the college as early as the 1920s, in addition to the chorus and orchestra. It was initially made up of students from Jackson College and Lanier High School. Founded as the Jackson State University Marching Band, the name "Sonic Boom of the South" was adopted by the school in 1971, after having been suggested by band members. The first full-time band director, William W. Davis, was appointed in 1948, replacing Charles Saulsburg, who had been director since 1947. Davis had previously played trumpet in Cab Calloway's band, and Calloway's musical style and showmanship influenced Davis's conceptualization of the marching band. The band at this time had around 20 members, increasing to 88 in 1963. Davis retired as director in 1971, but remained the chief arranger for the band. He was replaced by Harold J. Haughton. Haughton was instrumental in the creation of the Prancing J-Settes, the band's accompanying danceline.
As of fall 2017, 75% of Jackson State's student community was from Mississippi, with the majority from Hinds County and Madison County. The top three feeder states were Illinois (419 students), Louisiana (227), and Tennessee (192). China accounted for the highest number of international students on campus. 90% of students identified as Black, 6% identified as white, and 4% identified with various race categories. 34% of students were male, and 66% of students were female.
Jackson State University offers over 100 registered student organizations. There are academic, residential, religious, Greek, and special interest groups established to serve the diverse interests of JSU's student community. All student organizations are governed under the Student Affairs division.
Jackson State University's National Pan Hellenic Council (NPHC) includes all nine NPHC organizations:
Jackson State is home to radio station WJSU-88.5 FM which plays jazz, gospel, news and public affairs programming. Jackson State University also owns a television station, W23BC known as JSUTV aired on Comcast. Jackson State also publishes the independent Blue and White Flash weekly student newspaper and the Jacksonian magazine, which features news and highlights about the university, its students, and alumni.
|Charlotte P. Morris||1970||Interim president of Tuskegee University (2010; 2017–2018)|||
|Rod Paige||1955||First African-American to serve as Secretary of Education during President George W. Bush administration from 2001 to 2005, former head football coach at Jackson State from 1964 to 1968, and interim president of JSU (2016–present)|
|John Peoples||1950||President of JSU 1967–1984|
|Mary L. Smith||1957||11th president of Kentucky State University (1991 to 1998)|||
|Demarco Morgan||News anchor for KCBS-TV in Los Angeles|
|Percy Greene||Founded the Jackson Advocate newspaper, Mississippi's oldest black-owned newspaper|
|Willie Norwood||American Gospel singer, father and voice coach of R&B singers Brandy and Ray J|
|Sekou Smith||Sportswriter, reported on the NBA|
|Tonea Stewart||Actress and educator|
|Cassandra Wilson||Jazz vocalist and musician|
|Vivian Brown||American Television Meteorologist|
|Felicia C. Adams||1981||United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi from 2011 to 2017|||
|Cornell William Brooks||1983||Yale trained lawyer that served as the 18th President and CEO of the NAACP|
|Emmett C. Burns, Jr.||Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
from the 10th district
|Robert G. Clark, Jr.||Politician who was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1967. He was the first African American elected to the Mississippi State Legislature since the Reconstruction era.|||
|Flossie Boyd-McIntyre||1960||Member North Carolina House of Representatives (1994–2002)|||
|Carlton W. Reeves||1986||Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi|
|Bennie G. Thompson||1973||Member U. S. House of Representatives (1993–present)|
|Tony Yarber||2004||Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi|||
|Dennis Deer||2nd district Cook County Commissioner|||
|Alvin O. Chambliss||1967||Lawyer, civil rights activist Historic Ayers v. Barbour case||Thomas Adams. "Ayers Case, 112 S.Ct. 2727 (1992)." In The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Civil Rights. Ed. Charles D. Lowery and John F. Marszalek. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2003.</ref>|
|Shasta Averyhardt||2008||Professional golfer, first African-American woman to qualify for the LPGA Tour since 2001, and its fourth African-American woman member in the 60-year history of the tour.|||
|Lem Barney||NFL Hall of Fame cornerback with the Detroit Lions|
|Marcus Benard||2009||Current NFL linebacker|
|Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd||Former Major League Baseball pitcher|
|Corey Bradford||Former National Football League wide receiver|
|Robert Braddy||Jackson State Tigers baseball player and coach|||
|Robert Brazile||Pro Football Hall of Fame, 7-time NFL Pro Bowl outside linebacker with the Houston Oilers|||
|Wes Chamberlain||Former Major League outfielder|
|Dave Clark||Former Major League outfielder|
|Eddie Payton||1973||NFL kick returner; current Jackson State golf coach|
|Walter Payton||1975||Pro Football Hall of Fame running back; played entire career for the Chicago Bears|
|Archie "Gunslinger" Cooley||1962||Former head football coach at Mississippi Valley State University, University of Arkansas–Pine Bluff, Norfolk State University, and Paul Quinn College|
|Leslie "Speedy" Duncan||Former 4-time NFL Pro-Bowl cornerback with the San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins.|
|Marvin Freeman||Former Major League pitcher|
|Cletis Gordon||Former NFL defensive back|
|Lindsey Hunter||Former NBA point guard. Won the 2001–02 championship with the Los Angeles Lakers and the 2003–04 championship with the Detroit Pistons. He was formerly the interim heach coach of the Phoenix Suns.|
|Harold Jackson||Former Jackson State Head Football Coach; former NFL wide receiver; played majority career with the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots|
|Claudis James||Former NFL player|
|Jaymar Johnson||2008||Current NFL wide receiver|
|Trey Johnson||Current NBA/NBA Development League Player|
|Robert Kent||Jackson State and professional quarterback|
|Ed Manning||Drafted by the Baltimore Bullets in the eighth round (1st pick, 80th overall) of the 1967 NBA draft, father of Danny Manning|
|Picasso Nelson||Gridiron football player|
|Audie Norris||Former NBA Power forward and superstar for Winterthur FC Barcelona in the late 1980s|
|Donald Reese||NFL Player; played for the Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints and the San Diego Chargers|||
|Purvis Short||Former NBA small forward for the Golden State Warriors in the mid-1980s|
|Jackie Slater||Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle; played entire career with the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams|
|Jimmy Smith||Retired NFL wide receiver; played majority career with the Jacksonville Jaguars|||
|Karen Taylor||Played professionally in Europe, mother of Stanley Johnson|||
|Michael Tinsley||2006||Track & Field sprinter|||
|Rickey Young||1975||retired NFL running back with the San Diego Chargers and Minnesota Vikings|
|Michelle Obama||2016||First African-American to serve as First Lady of the United States. She was given an honorary doctorate from Jackson State University where she served as the keynote speaker for its 2016 Spring undergraduate commencement ceremony|||
Although Dr. F.D. Hall served as director of the band, chorus and orchestra in the 1920s, the marching band began in the 1940s consisting of college students and students from Lanier High School.
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