Johnson C. Smith University
(JCSU) is a private, co-ed, four-year liberal arts institution of higher learning located in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is the largest city in the U.S. state of North Carolina and the seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2010, Charlotte's population according to the US Census Bureau was 731,424, making it the 17th largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area had a 2009...
, United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
. It is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church
The Presbyterian Church , or PC, is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination in the United States. Part of the Reformed tradition, it is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the U.S...
. JCSU is also a historically black college
Historically black colleges and universities are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before 1964 with the intention of serving the black community....
. JCSU offers an assortment of academic programs, aimed at ensuring that its graduates are prepared for success in the workforce. JCSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is one of the six regional accreditation organizations recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation...
, National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and Council on Social Work Accreditation (CSWE). The school awards Bachelor of Science
A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years .-Australia:In Australia, the BSc is a 3 year degree, offered from 1st year on...
, Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...
and Bachelor of Social Work degrees to its graduates. The school also presents many internship opportunities for its students.
Johnson C. Smith University was established on April 7, 1867 as the Biddle Memorial Institute at a meeting of the Catawba Presbytery in the old Charlotte Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Mary D. Biddle, a churchwoman, donated $1,400 to the school. In appreciation of this first contribution, friends requested Mrs. Biddle to name the newly established school after her late husband, Major Henry Biddle. Two ministers, Rev. Samuel C. Alexander and the Rev. Willis L. Miller, saw the need for a school in the south and after the birth of the school they were elected as some of the first teachers. Its coordinate women's school
Women's colleges in the United States are single-sex U.S. institutions of higher education that exclude or limit males from admission. They are often liberal arts colleges...
was Scotia Seminary
(now Barber-Scotia College
Barber–Scotia College is a historically black college located in Concord, North Carolina, United States.-Scotia Seminary:Barber-Scotia began as a female seminary in 1867. Scotia Seminary was founded by the Reverend Luke Dorland and chartered in 1870...
In 1876, the charter was changed by the Legislature of the State of North Carolina and the name became Biddle University, under which name the institution operated until 1923.
In 1891, Biddle University elected Dr. Daniel J. Sanders as the first African-American as President of a four-year institute in the south.
From 1921 to 1922, Jane Berry Smith donated funds to build a theological dormitory, a science hall, a teachers' cottage and a memorial gate. She also provided an endowment for the institution in memory of her late husband, Johnson C. Smith
Johnson Crayne Smith was an early 20th-century businessman from Pittsburgh and the namesake of Johnson C. Smith University.After graduating from Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania, Smith operated a drug store in McKeesport, Pennsylvania...
. Up until her death she donated funds for five more buildings and a campus church. In recognition of these generous benefactions, the Board of Trustees voted to change the name of the institution to Johnson C. Smith University. The charter of the school, accordingly, was amended on March 1, 1923, by the Legislature of the State of North Carolina.
In 1924, James B. Duke established the Duke Endowment. While the largest share of that the Endowment's earnings are allocated to support Duke University
Duke University is a private research university located in Durham, North Carolina, United States. Founded by Methodists and Quakers in the present day town of Trinity in 1838, the school moved to Durham in 1892. In 1924, tobacco industrialist James B...
, Duke's donation required that 4% of its earnings be given to the university. Over the years, this share of the Endowment's distributions has exceeded $90 million.
In 1932, the university's charter was amended, providing for the admission of women. The 65-year-old institution for men then became partially coeducational. The first residence hall for women, named in memory of James B. Duke, was dedicated in 1940. In 1941, women were admitted to the freshman class. In 1942, the university was a fully coeducational institution.
JCSU joined the United Negro College Fund
The United Negro College Fund is an American philanthropic organization that fundraises college tuition money for black students and general scholarship funds for 39 private historically black colleges and universities. The UNCF was incorporated on April 25, 1944 by Frederick D. Patterson , Mary...
in 1944 as a founding member. This fund was organized primarily to help church-related schools of higher learning to revamp their training programs, to expand their plants, to promote faculty growth and to create new areas of service.
In Fall 2000, JCSU launched the IBM Laptop Initiative becoming one of few colleges in the country and the first historically black college to provide an IBM
International Business Machines Corporation or IBM is an American multinational technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, United States. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting services in areas...
laptop computer to every student. Known as "ThinkPad
ThinkPad is line of laptop computers originally sold by IBM but now produced by Lenovo. They are known for their boxy black design, which was modeled after a traditional Japanese lunchbox...
U", JCSU gives students and their computers complete access to the campus-wide network and the Internet. Since 1994, the ratio of computers to students improved from 1:10 to 1:1.1. With this new initiative and the commitment to integrate technology throughout the curriculum, JCSU gained national recognition. It also ranked #10 among Top HBCU's.
| Rev. Stephan Mattoon
| Rev. William Alexander Holliday
| Rev. William F. Johnson
| Dr. Daniel J. Sanders
| Dr. Henry Lawrence McCrorey
| Dr. Hardy Liston
| Dr. James W. Seabrook
| Dr. Rufus P. Perry
| Dr. Lionel Newsome
| Dr. Wilbert Greenfield
| Dr. Robert Albright
| Dr. Dorothy Cowser Yancey
| Dr. Ronald L. Carter
Due to its location in a large urban area, there are many social and cultural activities for JCSU students and faculty to enjoy, including professional sporting events, theater/movies, concerts, art exhibits, bands, chorale, poetry readings, and dance, among others.
Student-athletes compete in intercollegiate and intramural athletics. Students can choose to be involved in various on-campus organizations, including fraternities, sororities, and intramural sports.
JCSU is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a semi-voluntary association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States...
(NCAA), Division II and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association is a college athletic conference, mostly consisting of historically black colleges and universities. Recent addition Chowan University is the first non-HBCU to play in the conference. Conference teams participate in the NCAA's Division II...
(CIAA). Its intercollegiate sports programs include basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...
Bowling Bowling Bowling (1375–1425; late Middle English bowle, variant of boule Bowling (1375–1425; late Middle English bowle, variant of boule...
Cross country running is a sport in which people run a race on open-air courses over natural terrain. The course, typically long, may include surfaces of grass and earth, pass through woodlands and open country, and include hills, flat ground and sometimes gravel road...
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....
Softball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of 10 to 14 players. It is a direct descendant of baseball although there are some key differences: softballs are larger than baseballs, and the pitches are thrown underhand rather than overhand...
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...
, and track and field
Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...
. Its teams are nicknamed the Golden Bulls.
In 2001 the men's basketball team won the CIAA Basketball Tournament and advanced to the Division II Elite Eight
The term Elite Eight, or less commonly called "Great Eight", refers to the final eight teams in the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship or the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship; and, thus, represents the national quarterfinals. In Division I, the Elite Eight consists of the...
. In 2006 the men’s and women’s basketball teams were the CIAA Western Division Champions and the Tournament Runner-ups. In 2007 the men's basketball team were the 2007 CIAA Western Division Champions. In 2008 the men's basketball team won the 2008 CIAA Men's Basketball Championship. In 2009 the men's and women's basketball team won the 2009 CIAA basketball championship.
JCSU's on-campus stadium is called the Irwin Belk Complex
The Irwin Belk Complex is a multi-use 4,500 seat stadium on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University in Biddleville, Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. The stadium plays host to JCSU events....
which serves as home to the track and field and football teams, though homecoming
Homecoming is the tradition of welcoming back alumni of a school. It most commonly refers to a tradition in many universities, colleges and high schools in North America...
games are played at the larger American Legion Memorial Stadium
American Legion Memorial Stadium is 21,000-capacity stadium located on 7th Street in the Elizabeth community of Charlotte, North Carolina. Memorial Stadium is mainly used for high school sporting events and also serves as a public venue...
': "The Birth of Black College Football
On December 27 of 1892, Livingstone College
Livingstone College is a private, historically black, four-year college in Salisbury, North Carolina. It is affiliated with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church...
and Biddle College, (Johnson C. Smith) University played in the snows of Salisbury, North Carolina
Salisbury is a city in Rowan County in North Carolina, a state of the United States of America. The population was 33,663 in the 2010 Census . It is the county seat of Rowan County...
, just two days after Christmas. A writer of a story in the 1930 year-book of Livingstone College provided a glimpse of that December experience when the team from Biddle Institute traveled to Livingstone's Old Delta Grove campus in Salisbury to play while writers recorded the results of a historic moment in sports history.
According to historian T.M. Martin, the men of Biddle spent two years studying and practicing the sport of football. In 1892, they challenged the men of Livingstone, whose team was formally organized in the fall of that year.