Shaw University Brief History
Shaw University, located
in Raleigh, North Carolina is the first historically Black institution of
higher education in the South and among the oldest in the nation. The University was founded in 1865 by Henry
Martin Tupper, a native of Monson, Massachusetts, a soldier in the Union Army
during the Civil War, and a graduate of Amherst College and Newton Theological
Shaw boasts many “firsts”:
the first college in the nation to offer a four-year medical program, the first
historically Black college in the nation to open its doors to women, and the
first historically Black college in North Carolina to be granted an “A” rating
by the State Department of Public Instruction.
Dr. Paulette Dillard currently serves as the University's Interim President.
The mission of Shaw
University is to advance knowledge, facilitate student learning and
achievement, to enhance the spiritual and ethical values of its students, and
to transform a diverse community of learners into future global leaders. The
University currently enrolls more than 1,800 students and offers more than 30
degree programs, including accredited programs in athletic training,
kinesiotherapy, social work, divinity, religious education, and teacher
Shaw’s history of leadership,
activism and service is well documented. The Student Non-Violent Coordinating
Committee (SNCC) was established on Shaw’s campus in 1960. In 1976, a task force was appointed to
develop plans for what is now known as the Adult Degree Program, and beginning in 1980, eight extramural locations were
established in addition to a Raleigh main campus site. Since 1994, more than
4,000 students have graduated from the program.
In 1993, the University made
courses in ethics and values central to the general education that all of its
students receive in order to emphasize its commitment to the inculcation of
high personal standards and citizenship.
In 1997, research was conducted by the University to determine why Black
World War II veterans were excluded from receiving the top military award. Ten
soldiers were recommended to the Pentagon to receive the Medal of Honor as a
result of this study, and ultimately seven of the candidates were awarded the
In 2009, the University’s
Institute for Health, Social, and Community Research was awarded
a $4.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health - National Center
on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) to implement The Shaw NCMHD
Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) Project.
April 16, 2011 a tornado made a direct hit on the campus, causing severe damage
to the University’s student center and residence halls. Remarkably, just three
weeks later, more than 350 students participated in the University’s
commencement exercises. On August 6, 2011 the University re-opened its doors
and welcomed the class of 2015. The following year, on March 24, 2012, Shaw’s
women basketball team won its first NCAA Division II national championship by
beating Ashland 88-82 in overtime. The Lady Bears’ title is the first national
championship in school history.
students, faculty, staff and alumni contributed $133 million to Wake County's
economy in 2013 and in 2014 the Shaw Divinity School received a $500,000 grant
from the Lilly Foundation. At the start of the 2015-2016 academic year, the
North Carolina General Assembly honored Shaw with both a Senatorial and House
of Representative statement recognizing the University’s contributions during
its 150th Anniversary.
continues to produce outstanding professionals who contribute to the
advancement of American society. Shaw graduates include several college presidents,
a number of academic vice presidents, judges, lawyers, recording artists,
school principals, pastors, teachers of the year, a president of the United
Nations General Assembly, and other notable persons. In addition, the founder
of North Carolina Central University and the first presidents of Elizabeth City
State and North Carolina A&T Universities were all Shaw graduates. The
third president of Fayetteville State University was also a Shaw graduate.