History of the NCCU Alumni Association – www.nccualumni.org
This history of the North Carolina Central University Alumni is marked by friendship, fellowship, continual growth and fierce school pride. North Carolina Central University, a state-supported liberal arts institution, was chartered in 1909 as a private institution and opened to students on July 10, 1910. It was founded by Dr. James E. Shepard. From the beginning, when it was known as the National Religious Training School and Chautauqua, it’s purpose has been the development in young men and women of the character and sound academic training requisite for real service to the nation. To this end, the training of all students has been entrusted to the most capable teachers available.
In 1915 the school was sold and reorganized, then becoming the National Training School. During this period of its history, Mrs. Russell Sage of New York was a generous benefactor of the school.
In 1923 the General Assembly of North Carolina appropriated funds for the purchase and maintenance of the school; thus in that year it became a publicly-supported institution, and was renamed Durham State Normal School. Two years later, the General Assembly converted the institution into the North Carolina College for Negroes, dedicating it to the offering of liberal arts education and the preparation of teachers and principals of secondary schools. North Carolina College for Negroes became the nation’s first state-supported liberal arts college for African-American students.
At its 1927 session, the General Assembly began a program of expansion of the college plant to conform to the needs of an enlarged academic program. The interest of the Honorable Angus W. McLean, the Governor of North Carolina, and his belief in the institution aided greatly in the promotion of this program. State appropriations were supplemented by a generous gift from B. N. Duke, and contributions from citizens of Durham in 1929. The 1930’s afforded federal grants and State appropriations for a new program of physical expansion and improvement of educational facilities; this program continued until the beginning of World War II.
Little is known about the first alumni meeting, but NCCUAA is committed to revealing the entire history during the Centennial.