Jackson State University has a distinguished history, rich in the tradition of educating young men and women for leadership, having undergone seven name changes as it grew and developed.
Founded as Natchez Seminary in 1877 by the American Baptist Home mission Society, the school was established as Natchez, Mississippi “for the moral, religious and intellectual improvement of Christian leaders of the colored people of Mississippi and the neighboring states.” In November 1882, the school was moved to Jackson; in March 1899, the curriculum was expanded and the name was changed to Jackson College.
The state assumed support of the college in 1940, assigning to it the mission of training teachers. Subsequently, between 1953 and 1956, the curriculum was expanded to include a graduate program and bachelor’s programs in the arts and sciences; the name was then changed to Jackson State College in 1956.
Further expansion of the curriculum and a notable building program preceded the elevation of Jackson State College to university status on March 15, 1974. In 1979, Jackson State was officially designated the Urban University of the State of Mississippi. Presently, Jackson State University, a public, coeducational institution, is supported by legislative appropriations supplemented by student fees and federal and private grants.
Building on its historic mission of empowering diverse students to become leaders, Jackson State University will become recognized as a challenging, yet nurturing, state-of-the-art technologically-infused intellectual community. Students and faculty will engage in creative research, participate in interdisciplinary and multi-institutional/ organizational collaborative learning teams and serve the global community.
The mission of Jackson State University, an HBCU and comprehensive urban research university, is to provide quality teaching, research and service at the baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral levels to diverse populations of students and communities using various modalities to ensure that they are technologically-advanced, ethical, global leaders who think critically and can address societal problems and compete effectively.