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Norfolk State University (2010)

Brief Description:

The Norfolk Unit of Virginia Union University began very modestly on September 18, 1935, with 85 students in three second-floor rooms in the Hunton YMCA on Brambleton Avenue in Norfolk, Va. Brought to life in the midst of the Great Depression, the junior college provided a setting in which the youth of the region could give expressions to their hopes and aspirations. In 1942, the College became the independent Norfolk Polytechnic College, and two years later an Act of the Virginia Legislature mandated that it become a part of Virginia State College.

The college was able to pursue an expanded mission with even greater emphasis in 1956 when another Act of the Legislature enabled the institution to offer its first Bachelor's degree. The College was separated from Virginia State College and became fully independent in 1969. In 1979, university status was attained.

Today, the public, urban comprehensive university is proud to be one of the largest predominantly Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the nation. It offers programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Furthermore, it is committed to pursuing its vital role of serving the people of the Hampton Roads area, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation.


Mission Statement:

To provide an affordable, high-quality education for an ethnically and culturally diverse student population, equipping them with the capability to become productive citizens who continuously contribute to a global and rapidly changing society.

Major Accomplishments:

  • Reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), 2009
  • Disciplinary national accreditations by AACSB (business), NCATE (teacher education), ABET (engineering), 2009

  • Full certification by the NCAA, 2009

  • Nationally recognized by the White House and President George Bush for NSU’s service-learning program

  • Designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education for academic years 2009-2014 by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

  • Named one of the 50 top producers of African-American students who go on to become Ph.D. recipients, according to Inside Higher Ed in 2008.


Notable Alumni:

    Edward W. Bullock ’71
    Vice President of Diversity
    L’Oreal USA
    Trenton, NJ  

    Curtis G. Bunn ’83
    Adjunct Professor, Sports Reporting
    Morehouse College
    Lithonia, GA

    Georgia M. Dunston, Ph.D. ’65
    Department of Microbiology Founding Director, National Human Genome Center and Director Molecular Genetics
    Howard University
    Washington, DC

    Julian M. Earls, Ph.D. ’64
    Retired, Director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field
    Beechwood, OH 

    Naomi Churchill Earp, Esq. ’72
    Immediate Past Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
    Damascus, MD 

    Tim Reid ’68
    Emmy-nominated actor, author, director and producer
    President and Founder
    New Millennium Studios
    Petersburg, VA




    Kevin Adedokun ’09
    “Norfolk State is one of the few institutions in the nation that offers an ABET accredited undergraduate program in Optical Engineering.”

    Taina Matos ’05, M.S. ’07
    “The opportunity to do undergraduate research is priceless. At most schools you have to compete for it. Here they encourage you to do undergraduate research. They want you in their labs.”

    Shontré Outlaw ’07
    “The professors here at Norfolk State are very intuitive. They see things in you that you don’t see in yourself, and they challenge you to aspire to reach the goals that they have set for you. Once you start believing your teachers and what they see for you, then the world is open to you.”


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