Established in 1877 by the American Baptist Home mission Society, this institution is a historically Black university that was originally built with the intention of educating the African American community in Mississippi and neighbouring states.
By 1882 the school had moved to the city of Jackson, and over the following century the university changed names several times as it continued to expand, adopting its current name in 1974.
Today, Jackson State University (JSU) is a public, coeducational institution that is the officially designated Urban University of the state of Mississippi.
JSU offers more than 90 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs in a range of study fields, offered through 38 individual academic departments. With around 10,000 students, JSU is the fourth-largest historically Black college or university (HBCU) in the United States, in addition to being the fourth-largest public university in Mississippi.
The 245-acre JSU main campus is located in the Jackson city centre and the university also operates satellite campuses throughout Mississippi, including the JSU-Madison Campus, the JSU-Holmes Campus, the JSU-Mississippi E-Center, JSU Downtown and the Universities Center.
The university has a rich sporting history too and the JSU varsity teams, known as the Jackson State Tigers, has seen some incredible sportspeople come through the ranks at JSU over the years, including NFL Hall of Famers Walter Payton and Lem Barney and professional baseball players Oil Can Boyd, Wes Chamberlain and Dave Clark.
Other notable JSU alumni include Rod Paige, former US Secretary of Education, jazz artist Cassandra Wilson, and president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Cornell William Brooks.