A&T History

North Carolina A&T has a long and rich history as a university and has played a significant role in the struggle for civil rights for African Americans in the United States. The timeline below represents important dates and events in N.C. A&T history. For a more detailed timeline, click here


1891 – The college is established with the intention "to teach practical agriculture and mechanic arts and such branches of learning as relate there to, not excluding academic and classical instruction" to African American citizens of North Carolina.

1892 - John Oliver Crosby is elected the first president of the College by the Board of Trustees.

1896 – Dr. James B. Dudley is selected as the second president. He serves until 1925.

1899 – The college confers its first degrees.

1925 – Dr. Ferdinand D. Bluford is selected as the third president. He serves until 1955, becoming the longest serving leader in the history of A&T until this day.


Growth and Development

1928 – The college becomes co-educational, admitting female students.

1945 – First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt tours the campus with A&T President F.D. Bluford.

1951 – The Aggies football team wins the HBCU National Championship.

1955 – Dr. Warmoth T. Gibbs is selected as the fourth president and serves until 1960.

1957 – The college becomes "Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina," and the North Carolina General Assembly redefines the purpose of A&T: "to teach the Agricultural and Technical Arts and Sciences and such branches of learning as related thereto; the training of teachers, supervisors, and administrators for the public schools of the State, including the preparation of such teachers, supervisors, and administrators for the Master's Degree."


The Civil Rights Era

1960 – Ezell Blair, Jr. (Jibreel Khazan), Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond, four freshman students at A&T College, initiate the Lunch Counter Sit-In demonstrations in Greensboro on February 1st. They become known as The A&T Four, and their non-violent protest starts a wave of similar sit-ins that play a key role in raising awareness of and ending segregation in North Carolina and across the south.

1960 – Dr. Samuel D. Proctor is selected as the fifth president of the college and serves until 1964.

1964 – Dr. Lewis C. Dowdy is selected as the sixth president of the college and serves until 1980.

1967 – By an Act of the North Carolina General Assembly, the college is designated a Regional University and the name of the college is changed to "North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University."

1968 – The Aggies football team wins its second HBCU National Championship.


The 1970s, 1980s and 1990s

1972 – N.C. A&T becomes a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina System.

1980 – Dr. Cleon F. Thompson is named the seventh leader of A&T, serving one year as interim chancellor.

1981 – Dr. Edward B. Fort is inaugurated as the eighth chancellor and serves until 1999.

1983 – The Rev. Jesse Jackson, a 1964 A&T graduate, becomes a candidate for the presidency of the United States, launching the first of two high-profile presidential campaigns (the second came in 1988). 

1984 – N.C. A&T graduate Dr. Ronald E. McNair orbits the earth in the Space Shuttle Challenger. Sadly, two years later Dr. McNair perishes in the Challenger explosion.

1990 – The Aggies football team wins its third HBCU National Championship.

1999 – The Aggies football team wins its fourth HBCU National Championship.

1999 – Dr. James C. Renick is installed as the ninth chancellor of A&T.


The Modern Era

2001 – Dr. Carolyn W. Meyers is named the first provost of the university.

2002 – A monument honoring the A&T Four is unveiled in front of the James B. Dudley Building.

2006 – Dr. Stanley F. Battle is named the 10th chancellor of A&T.

2009 – Dr. Harold L. Martin, Sr., formerly the A&T vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and dean of the College of Engineering, is elected chancellor, becoming the first A&T alumnus to serve in the position.

2012 – Michelle Obama makes history as the first First Lady of the United States to be North Carolina A&T's commencement speaker.

2015 – The Aggies football team win its fifth HBCU National Championship.

2016 – Former U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady Hillary Clinton is a special guest at A&T's pep rally for its homecoming game. She is the third first lady to visit the campus.  

2016 – The 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, sits down with ESPN's Stan Verrett at North Carolina A&T for a nationally televised conversation on sports, race and achievement. 

2017 – The Aggies football team wins its sixth HBCU National Championship. 

2018 – The Aggies football team win its seventh HBCU national championship, its third in four years.

2019 – 

2020 – A&T is the first UNC System institution to stand up a COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinic.

2021 –  SACSCOCreaffirms A&T's accreditation with no findings or recommendations; several commendations.

2021 – Aggie Athletics enter the Big South athletic conference (Bowling remains in MEAC).

2022 – The 46th President of the United States Joe Biden speaks at the largest HBCU, touting the America Competes Act, legislation aimed at enhancing research and manufacturing.

2022 – Aggies join the CAA athletic conference

No. 1

public historically black university in the nation, as well as the nation's largest HBCU U.S. News & World Report

A doctoral, high-research activity, land-grant university, the only such HBCU in North Carolina to hold all of those designations Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education

Most Affordable of North Carolina's top universities Money Magazine