Alabama A&M History

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Alabama A&M History

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Alabama A&M University is a public, historically black, land-grant university located in Normal, a neighborhood of Huntsville, Alabama, United States. AAMU is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Founded in the 1870s as a normal school, it took its present name in 1969. Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University Historic District, also known as Normal Hill College Historic District, has 28 buildings and 4 structures listed in the United States National Register of Historic Places. With academic programs ranging from engineering to education, the letters “A&M”, originally short for “Agricultural and Mechanical”, are retained primarily as a link to the university’s roots in agriculture and mechanical programs.

Alabama A&M was established by an act of the Alabama State Legislature in 1875. By 1878, the state appropriation increased to $2,000 and the school changed its name to the State Normal and Industrial School. In 1885 the name was changed to State Normal and Industrial School of Huntsville. By 1890, the school site became known as Normal, Alabama, and a post office was established. In 1891, the school was designated as a Land-Grant college through legislative enactment under the terms of the Morrill Act of 1890. In 1896, its name was changed to The State Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes. In 1919, the school became the State Agricultural and Mechanical Institute for Negroes. In 1948 it was renamed the Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College. AAMU became fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1963. In June 1969, the school adopted its current name. The new millennium saw the construction of the West Campus Complex, the erection of the 21,000-seat Louis Crews Stadium, the renovations of buildings and the moving of athletic programs to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The School of Engineering and Technology facility was built in 2002, and the Ph.D. program in Reading and Literacy was established. Dr. Andrew Hugine was approved by the Board of Trustees as the 11th president on June 18, 2009. In 2015, the Board of Trustees approved out-of-state scholarships for the Fall 2016 semester. The scholarships are contingent on prospective students meeting various academic qualifications.

Alabama A&M University was one of the first seventeen new land-grant black institutions founded under the Morrill Act. When the school opened in 1875 it was called Huntsville Normal School and was located in Huntsville, Alabama. The school began with 61 students and two teachers.

 

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