History of North Carolina State University

History Of North Carolina State University

History of North Carolina State University

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North Carolina State University was founded by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1887 as a land-grant college under the name North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. As a land-grant college, NC State would provide a “liberal and practical education” while focusing on military tactics, agriculture and the mechanical arts without excluding classical studies. Since its founding, the university has maintained these objectives while building on them.

After opening its doors in 1889, NC State saw its enrollment fluctuate and its mandate expand. Due to the Great Depression, the North Carolina government administratively combined the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Women’s College at Greensboro, and NC State. This conglomeration later became the University of North Carolina system in 1971. After World War II, the university has constantly grown and changed.

Founding: 1862–1889

Although established in 1887, the North Carolina State University story begins in 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the federal Morrill Land-Grant Act. This Act created endowments that were to be used in the establishment of colleges that would provide a “liberal and practical education” while focusing on military tactics, agriculture and the mechanical arts without excluding classical studies.

During Reconstruction, North Carolina allocated its endowment to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For two decades, that...
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