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  • About the University

    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 and a graduate of Amherst College and Newton Theological Seminary.  

    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.   

    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 2,100 students and offers more than 30 degree programs, including accredited programs in kinesiotherapy, social work, divinity, religious education and teacher education, as well as graduate programs in divinity, religious education and early childhood education.  

    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 Center for Alternative Programs in Education (CAPE), and beginning in 1980, eight extramural CAPE locations were established in addition to a Raleigh main campus site.  

    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 prestigious medal.    

    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.     

    On 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. On March 24, 2012, the University celebrated another achievement. The women’s basketball team won its first NCAA Division II national championship by defeating Ashland 88-82 in overtime. The Lady Bears’ title is the first national championship in school history.