Johnson C. Smith University: Wikis


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Johnson C. Smith University

Seal of Johnson C. Smith University
Motto Sit Lux
Motto in English Let There Be Light
Established 1867
Type Private, HBCU
Endowment $51.1 million (Beneficiary of the Duke Endowment, 1924)[1]
President Ronald L. Carter
Staff 121
Students 1,500
Location Charlotte, North Carolina,
United States
Campus Urban 105 acres
Former names Biddle Memorial Institute
Biddle University
Sports basketball
track and field
Colors Gold and Navy Blue
Nickname Golden Bulls
Mascot The Golden Bull
Athletics NCAA, Division II
Affiliations Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association

Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) is a private, co-ed, four-year liberal arts institution of higher learning located in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina. It is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. JCSU is also a historically black college. JCSU offers an assortment of academic programs, aimed at ensuring that its graduates are prepared for success in the workforce. JCSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and Council on Social Work Accreditation (CSWE). The school awards Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Social Work degrees to its graduates. The school also presents many internship opportunities for its students.



Biddle Hall (1883), is one of the oldest buildings at JCSU and a North Carolina landmark. In 2002-2005, Biddle under went renovations making it the center for all administration offices.[2]

Johnson C. Smith University was established on April 7, 1867 as the Biddle Memorial Institute at a meeting of the Catawba Presbytery in the old Charlotte Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Mary D. Biddle, a churchwoman, donated $1,400 to the school. In appreciation of this first contribution, friends requested Mrs. Biddle to name the newly established school after her late husband, Major Henry Biddle. Two ministers, Rev. Samuel C. Alexander and the Rev. Willis L. Miller, saw the need for a school in the south and after the birth of the school they were elected as some of the first teachers. Its coordinate women's school was Scotia Seminary (now Barber-Scotia College).[3]

In 1876, the charter was changed by the Legislature of the State of North Carolina and the name became Biddle University, under which name the institution operated until 1923.

Johnson Crayne Smith

From 1921 to 1922, Jane Berry Smith donated funds to build a theological dormitory, a science hall, a teachers' cottage and a memorial gate. She also provided an endowment for the institution in memory of her late husband, Johnson C. Smith. Up until her death she donated funds for five more buildings and a campus church. In recognition of these generous benefactions, the Board of Trustees voted to change the name of the institution to Johnson C. Smith University. The charter of the school, accordingly, was amended on March 1, 1923, by the Legislature of the State of North Carolina.

In 1924, James B. Duke established the Duke Endowment. While the largest share of that the Endowment's earnings are allocated to support Duke University, Duke's donation required that 4% of its earnings be given to the university.[4] Over the years, this share of the Endowment's distributions has exceeded $90 million.

In 1932, the university's charter was amended, providing for the admission of women. The 65-year-old institution for men then became partially coeducational. The first residence hall for women, named in memory of James B. Duke, was dedicated in 1940. In 1941, women were admitted to the freshman class. In 1942, the university was a fully coeducational institution.

JCSU joined the United Negro College Fund in 1944 as a founding member. This fund was organized primarily to help church-related schools of higher learning to revamp their training programs, to expand their plants, to promote faculty growth, and to create new areas of service.[5]

In Fall 2000, JCSU launched the IBM Laptop Initiative becoming one of few colleges in the country and the first historically black college to provide an IBM laptop computer to every student. Known as "ThinkPad U", JCSU gives students and their computers complete access to the campus-wide network and the Internet. Since 1994, the ratio of computers to students improved from 1:10 to 1:1.1.[citation needed] With this new initiative and the commitment to integrate technology throughout the curriculum, JCSU gained national recognition. It also ranked #10 among Top HBCU's.

Student activities

Due to its location in a large urban area, there are many social and cultural activities for JCSU students and faculty to enjoy, including professional sporting events, theater/movies, concerts, art exhibits, bands, chorale, poetry readings, and dance, among others.



Student-athletes compete in intercollegiate and intramural athletics. Students can choose to be involved in various on-campus organizations, including fraternities, sororities, and intramural sports.

JCSU is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Division II, and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). Its intercollegiate sports programs include basketball, bowling, cross-country, football, golf, softball, volleyball, tennis, and track and field. Its teams are nicknamed the Golden Bulls.

In 2001 the men's basketball team won the CIAA Basketball Tournament and advanced to the Division II Elite Eight. In 2006 the men’s and women’s basketball teams were the CIAA Western Division Champions and the Tournament Runner-ups. In 2007 the men's basketball team were the 2007 CIAA Western Division Champions. In 2008 the men's basketball team won the 2008 CIAA Men's Basketball Championship. In 2009 the men's and women's basketball team won the 2009 CIAA basketball championship.

JCSU's on-campus stadium is called the Irwin Belk Complex.

'COMMEMORATIVE CLASSIC': "The Birth of Black College Football"

On December 27 of 1892, Livingstone College and Biddle College, (Johnson C. Smith) University played in the snows of Salisbury, North Carolina, just two days after Christmas. A writer of a story in the 1930 year-book of Livingstone College provided a glimpse of that December experience when the team from Biddle Institute traveled to Livingstone's Old Delta Grove campus in Salisbury to play while writers recorded the results of a historic moment in sports history.

According to historian T.M. Martin, the men of Biddle spent two years studying and practicing the sport of football. In 1892, they challenged the men of Livingstone, whose team was formally organized in the fall of that year.

It is doubtful that when Biddle University and Livingstone College teed it up on Dec. 27, 1892, in what was described as little more than a cow pasture, no less, if the contestants in this momentous occasion had the slightest inkling of the legacy they were about to give birth to. Games of monumental historical significance, coaches of legendary proportions and players of extraordinary brilliance ultimately emerged from the mother lode that was to become known as the historically Black colleges and universities.

The teams played two 45-minute halves on Livingstone's front lawn. W.J. Trent scored Livingstone's only touchdown on a fumble recovery. By then snow had covered the field's markings and Biddle argued that the fumble was recovered out of bounds. The official ruled in Biddle's favor, allowing them to keep the 5-0 lead that they had established early on and giving JCSU the historic 1st victory! And the rivalry continues....[6]

1892 Football Roster

Biddle (Johnson C. Smith) University

LE - H.H. Muldrow LG - C.E. Rayford LT - Charles H. Shute LH - W.W. Morrow C - Hawkins QB - G.E. Caesar FB - William L. Metz RE - J.J. Robinson RG - L. B. Ellerson (Captain) RT - William Haig RH - Mebane

Second Starters

J.E. Bowman J.R. Hutton L.M. Plair B.B. Funderburk H.L. Peterson (Manager)

Livingstone College

LE - Henry Rives LG - R.J. Rencher LT - J.B.A. Yelverton LH - John W. Walker (Captain) C - John J. Taylor QB - Wade Hampton FB - O'Neil RE - Cornelius N. Garland RG - Jesse R. Dillard RT - Charles H. Patrick RH - William J. Trent (Manager)

Second Starters

Felix H. Cummings E.D.W. Jones Thomas J. Lomax Jim Rose Gus Hill

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference
John H. Adams 1951 was pastor at Seattle’s First African Methodist Episcopal (FAME) Church from 1962 to 1968 and a leader in the city’s civil rights struggle. He moved to other cities and states after 1968, rising to national prominence as a religious and civil rights leader.
Shani Baraka 1994 the daughter of Amiri Baraka. 3-time All-CIAA. Holds the CIAA records for steals and assists. In 1993, she was elected as an honorable mention Eastman Kodak All-American, she was named CIAA Women's Co-Player of the Year, averaging 13.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 11 assists. At Smith, she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Frederick C. Branch 1942 First African American officer in the United States Marine Corps
Eva M. Clayton 1955 state of North Carolina politician.
Dorothy Counts 1964 at 15 years of age became the first African-American student to attend an all white school, Harding High School, September 4, 1957.
Gregory Clifton NFL Players with the Washington Redskins and the Carolina Panthers
Grover Covington was a Canadian Football League defensive end for the Hamilton Tigercats. He often led the league in quarterback sacks and was a division All-Star seven times. He won the Schenley Award for Most Outstanding Defensive Player once and also lead the Tigercats to a Grey Cup victory in 1986. He finished his career with 157 sacks, a CFL record. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
Daniel W. Culp 1876 compiled a collection of essays by African American writers, published as Twentieth Century Negro Literature (1902).
Charlie S. Dannelly 1962
Noah Dixon Inventor of ND Special.
Edward R. Dudley 1932 from the Gainsboro neighborhood of Roanoke, Virginia, was the first African-American to hold the rank of Ambassador of the United States, serving as ambassador to Liberia (where he had been serving with the rank of minister) from 1949 through 1953.
Richard Erwin 1947 state and federal judge.
Chet Grimsley 1978 recognized as the first Euro-American to garner accolades as All-CIAA and All-American at JCSU and at an HBCU. Author of "White Golden Bull."
Larry D. Hall 1978 is an American politician from Durham, North Carolina. A Democrat, he has served in the North Carolina House of Representatives as the member from North Carolina’s 29th representative district since 2006. Hall was appointed to the position in 2006 by then Governor Mike Easley and won reelection in 2008.
Burnalle "Bun" Hayes Star pitcher in the Negro Leagues. "Bun" helped JCSU baseball team win the 1923 National Baseball Championship title in the state of North Carolina.
Henry A. Hill the only African American to become President of the American Chemical Society.
Earl "The Goat" Manigault a Rucker Park legend.
Vincent Matthews 1970 Winner of two gold medals at the 1968 Summer Olympics and 1972 Summer Olympics.
Catherine McKee McCottry 1941 was the first female student from Johnson C. Smith University to obtain a medical degree. In Charlotte, North Carolina, where she practiced medicine from 1946 to 1952, and was that city's first African American female physician. In 1952, she moved to Charleston, South Carolina, to join her husband, Dr. Turner McCottry, who was practicing medicine there. (They had married while both were medical students.) She set up practice and became the first African American female practitioner in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She and her husband were the first African American medical team in Charleston. Additionally, this outstanding surgeon desegregated the Charleston, South Carolina hospitals in the late 1960's.
Eddie McGirt 1947 CIAA football coach legend.
Fred "Curly" Neal 1962 former member of the Harlem Globetrotters
Pettis Norman 1962 tight end with the NFL's Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers (the school's annual award given to the outstanding student-athlete is called the Pettis Norman Award)
Obie Patterson 1965 former member, Maryland House of Delegates
Don Pullen American jazz pianist and organist
John Wesley Rice 1946 Presbyterian minister, college administrator and the father of Condoleezza Rice
James "Twiggy" Sanders 1974 Harlem Globetrotters member
Marvin Scott 1966 Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2004
Richard L. Spencer attended JCSU in 1961. Grammy Award Winner Composer and performer 1969 R&B Song Of The Year "Color Him Father".
Clarence F. Stephens 1938 Ninth African American to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics
Jonathan "Steel Arm Johnny" Boyce Taylor Star pitcher in the Negro Leagues. Taylor's brother Ben Taylor was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, New York, in 2006
Avon Williams 1940 Tennessee State Senator from 1972 to 1992
Robert F. Williams Civil Rights leader, author, and president of Monroe, NC, NAACP chapter. He wrote the notable book "Negroes with Guns", in 1962.


External links

Coordinates: 35°14′37″N 80°51′18″W / 35.2437°N 80.8551°W / 35.2437; -80.8551


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