Jackson State administrators and alumni took a pilgrimage back to Natchez, MS to honor the university by placing a historical marker at its founding location. The marker is located on cemetery road where the former Natchez Charity Hospital once stood.
The President of the JSU National Alumni Association, Dr. Earlexia Norwood says, “As the representative for 50,000 alumni across the world, I am very excited that we had the opportunity to step on the grounds where JSU started. This marker is a reminder that we will never forget the sacrifices and struggles that have occurred since 1877.”
She continued, “A lot of people don’t know that the school actually transitioned to Jackson from Natchez due to the outbreak of yellow fever in the late 1800s. Natchez Seminary began as a place to train ministers, and then as Jackson College it was a place to train teachers. Once the name transitioned to Jackson State University, Dr. Peoples fought to expand the curriculum so that the university could accommodate students pursuing a vast number of different academic backgrounds. JSU has overcome a lot of trials and tribulations to become the global university that we know today.”
In 1877, the school was established as Natchez Seminary by the American Baptist Home Mission Society and the Mississippi Baptist Convention Association for the purpose of improving Christian leaders for people of color in Mississippi and its neighboring states.
Today, Jackson State University offers 93 degree programs within five academic colleges and is home to more than 7,000 students. Furthermore, the university ranks as top 10 among HBCUs in research expenditures, top 20 among 50 best online colleges and top three among institutions in the nation awarding doctorates to black students.