Back to Full List

Central State University (2012)

Brief Description:

Central State University Anniversary  

Central State University is regionally accredited and the only Historically Black state university in Ohio. An act passed by the Ohio General Assembly on March 19, 1887, was the genesis for the university establishing a combined Normal and Industrial Department of Wilberforce University. Although associated with Wilberforce University, the department had a separate board of trustees and was considered a separate institution. In 1941, the General Assembly changed the title of the Combined Normal and Industrial Department that offered two-year courses to the College of Education and Industrial Arts that provided four-year college courses. In 1947, the College of Education and Industrial Arts began operating independently from Wilberforce University. It continued its programs in teacher education, industrial arts and business, and also began offering a four-year program in liberal arts, using the name Wilberforce State College. In 1951, the legislature of the state of Ohio provided the name Central State College and in November 1965, Central State was granted university status. In keeping with its 125-year tradition of excellence, Central State University prepares students for careers such as educators, government officials, attorneys and business executives. Central State is educating the next generation of leaders.


Mission Statement:

Central State University Ohio logoCentral State University, Ohio’s only public Historically Black University, academically prepares students with diverse backgrounds for leadership and service in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. The university fosters academic excellence through a strong liberal arts foundation and majors in selected professional fields.

President's Quote:

"Since our founding 125 years ago, Central State University has been at the forefront of transforming lives through higher education. We have a rich history of service to regional communities, the state of Ohio, the nation and the world. From these halls of educational opportunity, our alumni are making a difference, serving with distinction in education, industry, international and national public service, athletics and entertainment. At Central State, we educate students to be successful in their chosen fields of endeavor and, just as important, we develop leaders who are committed to changing their communities for the betterment of society."  - Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, President 

Major Accomplishments:

  • In 2012, the Ohio legislature approved the designation of Central State University as a land grant university.
  • Central State University has been named an Ohio Center of Excellence in Emerging Technologies, a designation that recognizes its prominence in graduating students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
  • The KeyBank Stock Trading Room is a state-of-the-art financial learning lab where Central State’s students gain firsthand experience and knowledge of global securities and commodity transacting.
  • Central State University’s water resources management program is one of only two undergraduate programs in the nation and the only Historically Black University to offer the program.
  • The university’s manufacturing engineering program has a 100 percent job placement rate.
  • Central State University has received a $600K grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a sharable Self-optimizing and Cooperative Control Cyber Sensors Network platform. The grant undergirds the university’s commitment to increase its research capacity with the goal of developing a focused research center in two years.
  • Central State is an Ohio Center of Excellence in Societal and Cultural Transformation, affirming the university’s national reputation in the fine and performing arts.
  • Central State University’s Grammy nominated chorus has traveled and performed globally throughout Europe and Asia.
  • The Cosby Mass Communications Center at Central State is home to WCSU 88.9 FM, the first radio station at a Historically Black College; and a state-of the art recording studio.


Fun Facts:

Central State University is dedicated to: providing a nurturing and culturally enriched learning environment; stimulating in students an intellectual curiosity and a continuous search for knowledge; teaching students to think critically and communicate effectively; instilling in students an aspiration for excellence through teaching, service, and scholarly research; preparing students to address the challenges of a technologically-oriented world; providing quality educational programs in scientific and technological fields; offering programs with multicultural and global perspectives; reaching out to underserved populations, and; collaborating with other educational institutions, business organizations and governmental agencies to enrich learning experiences and educational opportunities for students.

Notable Alumni:

Elected/government officials -
  • The Honorable Joyce Beatty, U.S. Congresswoman;
  • John W. Shannon, United States Undersecretary of the Army
  • General Fred Sheffy, Jr. (US Army Ret.)
  • The Honorable Glenn T. Johnson, former Cook County judge
  • Clay Dixon, Former Mayor of Dayton
  • Marsha Bayless, Mayor of Xenia
  • Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Former President of Malawi
  • Roland Winburn, State Representative
  • Nancy Wilson, Jazz Singer 
  • Leontyne Price, Opera Singer
  • Frank Foster, Jazz Artist
  • NFL players: Vince Buck, Hugh Douglas, Charles Hope, Vince Heflin
  • Priest Lauderdale, NBA Player
  • Eddie Milner, Baseball Player
  • John Roseboro, Baseball player
  • Edwin Clay, Emmy Award-winning broadcaster
  • Kedar Massenberg,  Record Label Executive/Producer



"Coming to Central State changed my life for the better and impacted me in great ways. Being at this Historically Black University I have grown and matured while gaining a greater understanding of my talents and gifts. I love this institution because it allows students to find themselves and acquire a sense of self-pride that most schools won't allow you to gain. Through service, civility and proper protocol, I have gained the skills to become a polished proud black man; I have Central State University to thank for that. I love my university."
- Kendall Hart, Junior, Communications Broadcast Media

"Throughout my journey here at Central State University, I have found it to be one of the best decisions I have ever made in life. If I didn't attend Central State University I don't know where I would be right now. Central is definitely a school that produces a change if you as a student allow it happen. I am not the same person I was when I came to this university; from the way I communicate to the way that I view my self holistically. I have come out of my shell of meeting new people from all over the world. I am a senior, Homecoming King 2012 and have also started my own organization, J'adore Fashion. Being here at Central State has allowed me to grow and mature into the man that God created me to be. Fear has no room when you are definite about were you are going." Marcus Body, Senior, Communications Broadcast Media

"I have seen a great change in my self as well as my peers with whom I have matriculated at Central State University. Our university’s size is an advantage because it allows the professors to be engaged and attentive to our specific goals for achieving greatness. They are hands on and they actually care about you and want you to succeed. Looking back on my experience thus far, I would not change my decision to attend Central State for the world. " Tyler Crayton, Junior, Early Childhood Education

"Central State University has allowed me to grow and has given me the tools I need to succeed. I have a sense of pride to say what school I attend. I have benefited in many ways and I am thrilled to say that I am prepared for my future because I went to Central State University." Kimberley Stewart, Senior, Music Performance


  • Kellee Edmonds
    Vice President of Communications and Public Relations
    (202) 478-4662