Winston-Salem State University
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Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University seal.svg
MottoEnter to Learn, Depart to Serve.
TypePublic, HBCU
Established1892; 129 years ago (1892)
Parent institution
UNC System
Endowment$49.8 million (2019)[1]
ChancellorElwood Robinson
ProvostAnthony Graham
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Location, ,
United States
ColorsScarlett and White[3]
AthleticsNCAA Division II - CIAA
Winston-Salem State University logo.svg

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) is a historically black public university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It is part of the University of North Carolina.


Winston-Salem State University was founded as Slater Industrial Academy on September 28, 1892. It began with 25 pupils and one teacher in a one-room frame structure. By 1895 the school was recognized by the State of North Carolina and in 1899 it was chartered by the state as Slater Industrial and Slater Normal School[4]

In 1925, the North Carolina General Assembly renamed the school Winston-Salem Teachers College and the North Carolina State Board of Education allowed the college to award elementary teacher education degrees, making it the first black institution to provide this specialized training.[5]

The School of Nursing was established in 1953 offering baccalaureate degrees. In 1963 the North Carolina General Assembly authorized changing the name from Winston-Salem Teachers College to Winston-Salem State College. A statute designating Winston-Salem State College as Winston-Salem State University received legislative approval in 1969. On July 1, 1972, Winston-Salem State University became one of 16 constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina.[6]


In 2020, MacKenzie Scott donated $30 million to Winston-Salem State. Her donation is the largest single gift in the university's history.[7]


Winston-Salem State offers over 40 academic majors and 10 graduate degrees. The school enrolls approximately 5,200 students and employs 400 faculty and over 550 staff members.[8]


Winston-Salem State University was ranked the #7 top college in the United States by the Social Mobility Index college rankings.[9]

Winston-Salem State has been ranked #27 by U.S. News & World Report in the Top Public Comprehensive Baccalaureate Colleges of the South category between 2001 to 2009. By 2016, the university had fallen to a ranking of #84 in the same category.[10]


C. G. O'Kelly Library is the main academic library on the campus of Winston-Salem State University, which was originally the Slater Industrial Academy. The original library was housed in Blair Hall until 1967 when the new library was built and O'Kelly Library has gone through two additions and one renovation within the past forty years.[11]


The Alumni House on campus

The campus has more than 40 buildings covering 117 acres (0.47 km2).[12] WSSU's Diggs Gallery was recognized as one of the top African-American galleries in its region.[13]

Student activities


Winston-Salem State University is currently a member of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) in NCAA Division II. From the 2007-08 season through the 2009-10 season, the Rams competed in the NCAA's Division I Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), despite being a transitional member that was attempting to attain full membership within the MEAC or within NCAA Division I, in which the Rams were also scheduled to begin full membership and gain access to NCAA tournaments in 2011. However, it never occurred due to financial difficulties.[14][15]

The men's basketball team and WSSU cheerleaders at the 2012 CIAA Tournament

In 1967, Winston-Salem State became the first Historically Black College to win an NCAA Basketball Championship. The Rams won the College Division Championship (now Division II) with a 31-1 record. They were led by high-scoring guard Earl Monroe, who averaged an amazing 41.5 points per game that season before being selected second overall in the 1967 NBA draft by the Baltimore Bullets (now the Washington Wizards).

Winston-Salem State played in the 2012 Division II National Championship football game on December 15, 2012. They lost, 35-7, to Valdosta State University, finishing the season, 14-1, the best of any historically black college/university. The team was led by head coach Connell Maynor and All-American quarterback Kameron Smith.

The current home of the Winston-Salem State football team is the Bowman Gray Stadium that is also home to the NASCARs "longest-running weekly race track" as the stadium is a duel use complex for both sports.

In August 2010, Winston-Salem State University reinstated their baseball program after a 37-year hiatus. Despite only being the first year of the program, the baseball team managed to win the CIAA Conference Championship and move on to the Atlantic Regional. The team again won the CIAA Conference Championship in 2012, 2013, and 2014, making that four consecutive conference championships in the first four years of the program. The team also achieved success in the 2013 season by earning the program's first ever national ranking of No. 23 in the country while also hosting the 2013 NCAA Atlantic Regional.

National fraternities and sororities

All of the National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations currently have active chapters at Winston-Salem State University except Delta Sigma Theta sorority, who were suspended for at least a 10-year period in April 2010.[16][17] The remaining organizations are:

Organization Symbol Chapter Chapter Symbol
Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority Gamma Lambda
Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity Beta Iota
Iota Phi Theta fraternity Kappa ?
Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity Delta Chi
Omega Psi Phi fraternity Mu Epsilon
Phi Beta Sigma fraternity Delta Alpha
Sigma Gamma Rho sorority Rho ?
Zeta Phi Beta sorority Omega ?

Other National fraternities and sororities with registered chapters are members of the Council of Independent Greek Organizations. The current members on campus include:

Organization Symbol Chapter Chapter Symbol
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity Mu Beta
Tau Beta Sigma honorary band sorority Theta Upsilon
Kappa Kappa Psi honorary band fraternity Kappa Lambda
Pi Sigma Epsilon professional sales, marketing, and management fraternity Zeta Lambda
Alpha Nu Omega Christian sorority Pi ?
Kappa Omicron Tau sorority Beta Lambda
Chi Eta Phi nursing sorority Chi Chi Beta
Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity Tau Chi
Swing Phi Swing social fellowship S?S Groove
Sigma Phi Omega National Academic Honor & Professional Society in Gerontology Epsilon Alpha

Notable alumni


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2019. "U.S. and Canadian 2019 NTSE Participating Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2019 Endowment Market Value, and Percentage Change in Market Value from FY18 to FY19 (Revised)". National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ "WSSU enrollment is highest since 2014". Winston-Salem State University. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ Winston-Salem State University Brand Guide (PDF). July 20, 2017. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 6, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ "University History - Winston-Salem State University".
  5. ^ "University History - Winston-Salem State University".
  6. ^ "University History - Winston-Salem State University".
  7. ^ "Winston-Salem State receives $30 million donation from MacKenzie Scott; largest-ever gift from a single donor". 15 December 2020.
  8. ^ "WSSU Fact Book 2015-16" (PDF). Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ "Social Mobility Index 2018". Retrieved 2019.
  10. ^ "Winston-Salem State University | Best College | US News". Archived from the original on 2009-08-28. Retrieved .
  11. ^ "Okelly Library". Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "Historical Sketch - Winston-Salem State University - Acalog ACMS(TM)". Archived from the original on 2016-09-12. Retrieved .
  13. ^ "About WSSU - Why WSSU? - Transformation Happens Here". 2016-08-05. Archived from the original on 2016-08-24. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Winston-Salem State jumps to Division I, joins MEAC - College Sports - ESPN". 19 July 2006. Retrieved .
  15. ^ "Winston-Salem ready to return to D-II, CIAA - NCAA Basketball - Sporting News". Archived from the original on 2014-02-02. Retrieved .
  16. ^ Staff, JournalNow. "WSSU suspends sorority for hazing its pledges". Winston-Salem Journal.
  17. ^ "Fraternity and Sorority Life - Winston-Salem State University".
  18. ^ "Earl Monroe". Pro-Basketball Reference.Com. Retrieved 2019.
  19. ^ "Ramily, ESPN honor Stephen A. Smith". September 20, 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  20. ^ "Winston Salem State Rams Hall of Fame: Stephen A. Smith". Winston Salem State Athletics. Retrieved 2019.
  21. ^ "spurgeon ellington - North Carolina Room -- Forsyth County Public Library". Archived from the original on 2017-09-08.

External links

Coordinates: 36°05?22?N 80°13?31?W / 36.0894545°N 80.2251603°W / 36.0894545; -80.2251603

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