Alabama A&M University

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Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, also known as Alabama A&M University or AAMU, is an historically black college located in the community of Normal near Huntsville (Madison County). It was established by the Alabama state legislature in 1873 as the Colored Normal School at Huntsville for the education of black teachers.

The University has an enrollment of over 5,700 students in 24 academic programs taught by 1,081 faculty and staff. It is accredited by the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools and has one of the largest graduate schools of any historically black college. It offers doctoral programs in physics, plant/soil science, and reading/literacy. The university operates a regional headquarters of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

Andrew Hugine is the university's president, appointed in June 2009. The last president, Robert Jennings, was fired by the board of trustees in March 2008. Beverly Edmond served as interim president.

A&M's colors are maroon and white and their mascot is the Bulldog. Alabama A&M University is the licensee for National Public Radio affiliate station WJAB-FM 90.9, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week on campus.


The school opened its doors on Clinton Street in Huntsville on May 1, 1875 with 61 students, two full-time instructors and William Hooper Councill as its first president. In 1885 the name was changed to the State Normal and Industrial School of Huntsville and an industrial training building was constructed. Five years later the school was designated as a land-grant college with a 183-acre campus outside of Huntsville.

The new location was named "Normal" when a post office was established. Students constructed residence halls and programs in agriculture were added to the curriculum. In 1896 the name was changed to the State Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes. Arts courses were added the following year and W. C. Handy became the schools music director. A library was built in 1904 with funds from the Carnegie Corporation. During the 1910s A&M began fielding athletic teams in football and baseball.

In 1939 the college was authorized by the Alabama Board of Education to offer senior college level courses. In 1949 the name was changed to Alabama A&M College. It was first accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1963, and became Alabama A&M University in 1969.

In 1981 a desegregation case opened the university's admissions to all applicants regardless of race. The physics department began offering a Ph.D. program in 1986. The Master of Social Work program accepted its first students in 1995. The college joined the Southwestern Athletic Conference in 1997.


Alabama A&M's athletics department sponsors men's intercollegiate basketball, football, baseball, cross-country, golf, soccer, tennis and track & field along with women's intercollegiate tennis, basketball, soccer, track, cross country, bowling, volleyball and softball. Also offered are men's and women's swimming clubs.

The Bulldogs compete in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The football program is part of the NCAA's Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA). The Bulldogs participate in the annual Magic City Classic football game against Alabama State University. The football team plays its home games at the $10 million Louis Crews Stadium, constructed in 1996. They won their first SWAC football championship in 2006.


  • William H. Councill, 1875–1909
  • William Buchanan, 1909–1920
  • Theophilus Parker, 1920–1927
  • Joseph Fanning Drake, 1927–1962
  • Richard Morrison, 1962–1984
  • Douglas Covington, 1984–1987
  • Carl Marbury, 1987–1991
  • David Henson, 1991–1995
  • John Gibson, 1996–2005
  • Robert R. Jennings, September 16, 2006–March 31, 2008
  • Andrew Hugine, 2008–2021

Notable alumni


External links