Central State University originated on March 19, 1887, when the Ohio General Assembly passed an act establishing a Combined Normal and Industrial (CN&I) Department at Wilberforce University. Through various transitional changes, it emerged as an independent, state university. In 1941, the General Assembly expanded the CN&I, which offered two-year courses, into the College of Education and Industrial Arts, with four-year programs. In 1947, it separated from Wilberforce University. The history of Central State University tells the history of higher education and advancement for African Americans in Ohio. It is within the walls of these structures, and others unfortunately demolished or destroyed by the 1974 tornado, that thousands of African Americans received valuable training for successful and rewarding careers. Thus, many of the contributions of African Americans to the promotion and betterment of education, medicine, law, social justice, technology, and the arts in Ohio have their roots here on the campus of Central State University.