Jackson State University: Wikis


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Jackson State University
Motto "Challenging Minds. Changing Lives."
Established October 23, 1877 (1877-10-23)
Type Public, HBCU
Endowment $12 million[1]
President Dr. Ronald Mason, Jr.
Faculty 450
Staff 1,200
Students 8,351
Location Jackson, Mississippi,
United States

32°17′46″N 090°12′28″W / 32.29611°N 90.20778°W / 32.29611; -90.20778Coordinates: 32°17′46″N 090°12′28″W / 32.29611°N 90.20778°W / 32.29611; -90.20778
Former names Natchez Seminary
Jackson College
Jackson State College
Colors Royal Blue and White
Nickname Tigers
Website www.jsums.edu

Jackson State University (also known as Jackson State or JSU) is a historically black university located in Jackson, Mississippi founded in 1877. Jackson State is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund.



The vision of Jackson State University is to be a model urban learning community for highly motivated students from diverse backgrounds, where original research and experiential learning are integrated into rigorous and internationally prominent teaching, research and service learning programs.


A Historically Black Carnegie Doctoral/Research Intensive public institution of higher learning located in the metropolitan area of Jackson, Mississippi, Jackson State University educates a diverse student population from Mississippi, most other states and many foreign countries by providing a broad range of baccalaureate programs and a variety of masters and doctoral programs. The learning process at Jackson State is enhanced through experiential learning in urban and rural areas throughout the city, state, nation, and global communities. Jackson State is a learning community for highly capable, as well as capable but under prepared students who require a nurturing academic environment.


Jackson State University started as Natchez Seminary, a private school, under the auspices of the American Baptist Home Mission Society of New York, for the purpose of educating Mississippi’s newly freed and underprivileged blacks.

  • October 23, 1877, the school operated for sixty-three years as a private church school beginning with only twenty students. Inman Edward Page was the only black member of the original faculty. On December 11, 1882, the decision was made to purchase the fifty-two-acre J.A.P. Campbell estate in North Jackson, Mississippi. In 1883, the Society moved the school to Jackson, to the site where Millsaps College now stands. A part of this transition was the renaming of the school to Jackson College in recognition of the institution’s new, central location in the City of Jackson. Natchez Seminary soon relocated from its site in north Jackson to a tract of land in the southwest section of the city.
  • In 1902, construction of a new site began. The University remains on this site today.
  • In 1924, the first bachelor’s degree was awarded. During this period, the major educational activities were directed toward teacher education for in-service teachers.
  • When the American Baptist Home Mission Society withdrew its support from the institution in 1934, A new board of trustees was organized that kept the school open. On May 30, 1938, control of the Board of Trustees was transferred to Jackson College, Incorporated.
  • In 1940, the school was transferred from the private control of the church to the state education system and renamed Mississippi Negro Training School. Initially, the school had been specifically designated by the state to train rural and elementary teachers. In 1942, the Board of Trustees expanded the curriculum to a full four-year teacher education program, culminating in the Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. In May 1944, the first four-year graduating class under state support received their degrees. In 1944, Mississippi Negro Training School was renamed Jackson College for Negro Teachers
  • In 1953, the Division of Graduate Studies was organized during the Summer and the program of Liberal Arts started in the fall of that year. In 1956, Jackson College for Negro Teachers was renamed Jackson State College.
  • During the late 1960s, the entire curriculum was reorganized and the following schools were established: the Schools of Liberal Studies, Education, Science and Technology, Business and Economics and the Graduate School.
  • On 14 May 1970, two students were killed during anti Vietnam war protests by police in the Jackson state killings. On March 15, 1974, Jackson State College was designated Jackson State University. Jackson State College gained university status in accordance with the expanded breadth and quality of its faculty and academic programs. From 1967-1977, the faculty tripled in size and the number of faculty members with graduate degrees increased eightfold. In 1979, the University was officially designated the state’s Urban University by the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning.
  • In the late 1980s, the University and its surrounding community was enriched through the expansion of the Universities Center; the establishment of the West Jackson Community Development Corporation to improve blighted housing around the campus; the organization of a Staff Senate; and the creation of a Center for Professional Development and the Center for Technology Transfer.
  • In the 1990s, a Campus Master Plan that projected the growth of the University into the 21st Century was developed. Fifteen new graduate and undergraduate programs evolved. These academic achievements were bolstered by the establishment of the School of Social Work, the formation of the School of Engineering, and the fall 1998 opening of the School of Allied Health Sciences, the School of Business received accreditation of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), a $13.5 million expansion of the H. T. Sampson Library, which doubled the capacity of the original structure, was completed, and the $17.2 million School of Liberal Arts building was occupied in 2001.
  • In Fall 2000, the University received doctoral research intensive status with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This prestigious designation was based on the awarding of more than 20 doctoral degrees from the Division of Graduate Studies and the $40 million in federally funded research contracts secured through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
  • In 2002, the University celebrated its 125th anniversary. It developed and implemented its strategic plan–Beyond Survival: The Millennium Agenda for Jackson State University. The five-point strategic plan is moving Jackson State University to a new academic excellence. Thus, Vision 2020 was created to fulfill the first strategy–Remodel the Learning System at JSU. In 2002, the University was reorganized into six colleges: College of Business; College of Public Service; College of Liberal Arts; College of Science, Engineering and Technology; College of Lifelong Learning; and College of Education and Human Development.
  • In 2004, a $20 million College of Business building was completed.
  • In 2006, a new 91,000 square foot student health wellness center will open. For the first time in the University’s history, private bond financing was secured to renovate some facilities on campus and to build new facilities, including a new Campus Union, a new president’s house, new student apartments, and dormitories which are scheduled to open in 2006. The campus transformation and wide array of academic programs will enhance Jackson State’s presence.

Today, JSU provides traditional and non-traditional students of diverse backgrounds academic opportunities to develop knowledge and skills that will empower them to succeed in an increasingly complex and technologically advanced world. JSU has expanded online course offerings, and students are also afforded the opportunity to excel in areas beyond academic disciplines including art, culture, music and numerous intercollegiate sports and championship competitions. Jackson State’s long-term cooperative projects, corporate partnerships, its increasing presence among top universities for the amount of research dollars awarded to the University, and community initiatives strengthen the University’s commitment to its students, faculty, staff and alumni as well as to the West Jackson Community, the city, the state, the nation and several international countries.


1) 1877-1894 Charles Ayer

2) 1894-1911 Luther G. Barrett

3) 1911-1927 Zachary Taylor Hubert

4) 1927-1940 B. Baldwin Dansby

5) 1940-1967 Jacob Reddix

6) 1967-1984 John A. People, Jr.

7) 1984-1991 James A. Hefner

8) 1992-1999 James E. Lyons Sr

8b) 1999-2000 (interim) Betty Fletcher

9) 2000- Ronald F. Mason, Jr.


Jackson State University is located in Jackson, the capital city and the cultural, political, geographic and business center of Mississippi. The campus is a 245 acre campus with 51 academic and administrative buildings. It is five minutes from downtown and less than twenty minutes from Jackson International Airport. The main campus is located on JR Lynch St between Prentiss and Dalton St. The United States Postal Service has assigned Jackson State ZIP code 39217 for P.O. box mail.

Campus Landmarks

  • Ayer Hall
    • Constructed in 1903
    • Oldest structure on campus
    • Named in honor of the First President
    • Named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
  • Green-Gibb Pedestrian Walkway (Plaza)
    • Plaza constructed in 1970s
    • Converted to a Pedestrian Walkway in 2006
    • Named in honor of those who died in the Jackson State killings
  • University Centennial Capsule
    • A time capsule containing memorabilia of the university's first century
    • To be opened on the university's bicentennial in 2077




  • College of Business
    • Departments
      • Accounting
      • Entrepreneurship & Professional Development
      • Economics Finance, and Gen. Business
      • Management & Marketing
  • College of Education and Human Development
    • Departments
      • Elementary & Early Childhood Education
      • Health
      • P.E. & Recreation
      • School, Community & Rehab Counseling
      • Educational Leadership
  • College of Liberal Arts
    • Departments
      • Criminal Justice & Sociology
      • History & Philosophy
      • English & Modern Foreign Languages
      • Mass Communications
      • Speech Communications
      • Art
      • Music
  • College of Public Service
    • School of Health Sciences
      • Departments
        • Communicative Disorders
        • Health Policy & Management
        • Behavioral & Environmental Health
        • Epidemiology & Biostatistics
    • School of Social Work
      • Programs
        • BSW, MSW, Ph.D.
    • School of Policy & Planning
      • Departments
        • Public Policy & Admin,
        • Urban & Regional Planning
  • College of Science, Engineering and Technology
    • School of Science & Technology
      • Departments
        • Biology
        • Chemistry & Biochemistry
        • Physics
        • Atmospheric & Geo Sciences
        • Mathematics
        • Technology
    • School of Engineering
      • Departments
        • Civil & Environmental Engineering
        • Computer Engineering
        • Computer Science
  • College of Lifelong Learning
    • Programs
      • Professional Interdisciplinary Studies

Student activities



{{See Jackson State Tigers}}

Athletics logo

Jackson State's athletic teams are a member of the NCAA Division I-FCS(Football Championship Subdivision) Southwestern Athletic Conference, commonly known as the SWAC. All SWAC sports are DI with Football being FCS. Currently, the university fields men's and women's basketball, football, baseball, softball, men's and women's golf, women's volleyball, men's and women's tennis, soccer, and men and women's bowling teams. The university's mascot is the Tiger, and the teams are sometimes referred to as the "Blue Bengals."

The Tiger football team has a heralded history, winning and sharing 16 SWAC titles, including 2007. [2] Its most famous alumni includes NFL Hall of Famers Lem Barney, Jackie Slater and Walter Payton, and former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith.

The men's golf team has gained notoriety as it has become a SWAC powerhouse and perennial NCAA tournament participant under head coach Eddie Payton, older brother of Walter Payton.[citation needed]

JSU's well-known rivals include Southern, Alcorn State, Mississippi Valley State, and Tennessee State.

Sonic Boom of the South

The Jackson State University Marching Band, “The Sonic Boom of the South” is a very diverse, competent, and a flexible musical group.

The band was first organized in the early 1940s. As early as the mid-1920s, the University had a well-organized orchestra. The group was given the nickname, “The Sonic Boom of the South” by band members in 1971. In 1971, the majorettes abandoned their batons and became a dance team known as the Prancing J-Settes. In 1974, “Get Ready,” an old Motown favorite was selected as the band’s theme song. Also, during the mid 1970s, the “Tiger Run-On” was perfected. The “Tiger Run-On” is a fast, eye-catching shuffle step that blends an adagio step with an up-tempo shuffle (200 steps per minute), then back to adagio—a “Sonic Boom” trademark that brings fans to their feet during halftime performances. In 2003 the marching band was in enshrined in the NCAA Hall of Champions. Also, the marching band was filmed by Electronic Art Sports (EA Sports) for inclusion in the 2005 vision of the video game "EA Sports NCAA Football 2005."

Some Notable Performances

  • NFL Halftime Appearances
    • Atlanta Falcons
    • Detroit Lions
    • New Orleans Saints
    • New York Jets
    • Houston Oilers
    • Philadelphia Eagles
    • Cincinnati Bengals
    • Indianapolis Colts
  • The 1991 NBA All-Star game.
  • The Motown’s 30th Anniversary television special.
  • The NAACP 34th Image Awards television special.

Directors of Bands
1) 1940-1947 Kermit Holly, Sr.
2) 1948-1971 William W. Davis
3) 1971-1984 Harold Haughton
4) 1984-1992 Dowell Taylor
5) 1992-2009 Lewis Liddell, Sr.
6) 2009-**** Renardo R. Murray

The J-Settes

A group photo of alumni & the 2007 Jsette line

The Prancing J-Settes is the official name of the Jackson State University dance line, an auxiliary group of the Jackson State University Marching Band that began in 1971.

Student media

Jackson State is home to radio station WJSU-FM which plays jazz, gospel, news and public affairs programming. It also houses a low-powered television station, W23BC. Jackson State also publishes the independent Blue and White Flash weekly student newspaper.

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference
Lem Barney NFL Hall of Fame cornerback; played entire career with the Detroit Lions
Oil Can Boyd former Major League Baseball pitcher
Corey Bradford National Football League player
Robert Brazile former 7-time NFL Pro Bowl outside linebacker;played entire career with the Houston Oilers
Vivian Brown Weather Channel meteorologist [3]
Wes Chamberlain former Major League outfielder
Dave Clark former Major League outfielder
Leslie "Speedy" Duncan former 4-time NFL Pro-Bowl cornerback with the San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins.
Marvin Freeman former Major League pitcher
Lindsey Hunter Current NBA Point guard of the Chicago Bulls. Won the 2003-04 championship and the Pistons and the 2001-02 championship with the Los Angeles Lakers
Harold Jackson Retired NFL wide receiver; played majority career with the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots
Trey Johnson NBA Player
Ed Manning Drafted by the Baltimore Bullets in the 8th round (1st pick, 80th overall) of the 1967 NBA draft, father of Danny Manning
Audie Norris former NBA Power Forward and superstar for Winterthur FC Barcelona in the late 80's
Eddie Payton 1973 NFL kick returner; current Jackson state golf coach
Walter Payton NFL Hall of Fame running back; played entire career for the Chicago Bears
Purvis Short former NBA Small forward scorer for the Golden State Warriors in the mid 80's
Jackie Slater NFL 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
Tonea Stewart Actress and Educator
Cassandra Wilson Jazz vocalist and musician
Dr. Rod Paige Secretary of Education in G. W. Bush administration
Bennie G. Thompson Member U. S. House of Representatives


See also

External links


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