Tennessee State University (TSU) is a land-grant university located in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. TSU is the only state-funded historically black university in Tennessee. The University is a member-school of Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
TSU was originally organized as the Agricultural and Industrial State Normal School for Negroes in 1909 and began serving students on June 19, 1912. Its status was raised to a four-year teachers' college in 1922, and two years later it was renamed the Agricultural and Industrial State Normal College. In 1927, "Normal" was dropped from its name.〔
It was elevated to university status in 1951, renamed the Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial University, and got full-fledged land-grant university status by the Tennessee State Board of Education in 1958.〔 In 1968, the state legislature dropped the words "Agricultural and Industrial" in favor of "Tennessee State University."〔() 〕 Since 1972, it has been operated under the auspices of the Tennessee Board of Regents.〔
The present-day Tennessee State University exists as a result of the court-ordered merger on July 1, 1979, of Tennessee State University and the former traditionally white institution, the University of Tennessee at Nashville, which had begun as an extension of the Knoxville-based University of Tennessee.〔 This resulted in a downtown campus known as The Avon Williams Campus. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University has grown dramatically from a small college to two campuses: the 500-acre main campus and the downtown Avon Williams campus, which is located in the heart of Nashville near the State Capitol. The diverse student population of more than 9,000 represents 46 states and 45 countries.
Tennessee State University is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational land-grant university offering 45 bachelor’s degrees and 24 master's degrees. Seven Doctoral programs include biological sciences, psychology, public administration, computer information systems engineering, administration and supervision and curriculum and instruction.
On 22 October 2015, there was a shooting on the campus.
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