— Chesterfield County —Virginia State University was chartered by the Virginia legislature in 1882 as the Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute. Delegate Alfred W. Harris, an African-American attorney in Petersburg, championed the charter and supported it through the ensuing lawsuits attempting to stop its existence. Virginia State University was the first state supported school for African Americans in the United States authorized to grant a college degree, and also have an African-American board of visitors and an all African-American faculty by charter. A year and a half later, the school was built and opened. In 1902 the college program was abolished and the name was changed to Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute. The college courses were later restored in 1922. In 1930 the college was renamed The Virginia State College for Negroes, and in 1946, Virginia State University. Its first president, John Mercer Langston, went on in 1888 to be the only black elected to the United States Congress from Virginia (a record held until 1992). In its first year, Virginia State had 126 students and seven faculty, all black. One hundred years later, in 1982, there was a fully integrated student body of nearly 5,000 and a full-time faculty, also integrated, of 250. The one original building had grown to more than 50.
|Placed By||Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail?|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Saturday, September 27th, 2014 at 4:42pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||18S E 285229 N 4124560|
|Decimal Degrees||37.24285000, -77.42133333|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 37° 14.571', W 77° 25.28'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||37° 14' 34.26" N, 77° 25' 16.80" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Area Code(s)||804, 434, 757|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 20800 Matthews Jefferson Dr, Petersburg VA 23803, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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