University of Arkansas
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, was authorized in 1873 by the Reconstruction-era legislature as the Branch Normal College; a historically black college, it was nominally part of the "normal" (education) department of Arkansas Industrial University, later the University of Arkansas.
It was operated separately as part of a compromise to get a college for blacks students, as the state maintained racial segregation well into the 20th century. It later was designated as a land-grant college under the 1890 federal amendments to Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act. As Congress had originally established the land grant colleges to provide education to all qualified students in a state, in 1890 it required states maintaining segregated systems to establish a separate land-grant university for blacks as well as whites. In 1927, the school severed its ties with the University of Arkansas and became Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical & Normal (AM&N) College. It moved to its current campus location in 1929. Nearly 50 years later, the college re-joined what is now the University of Arkansas System.
As a full-fledged campus with graduate study departments, it gained its current name and university status in the process. Since 1988, the university has gained recognition as a leading research institution in aquaculture studies, offering the state's only comprehensive program in this field. It supports a growing regional industry throughout the Mid-South (according to the school, aquaculture is a $167 million industry in Arkansas alone and worth approximately $1.2 billion in the Mississippi Delta region). Recently the program was enhanced by the addition of an Aquaculture/Fisheries PhD program.
One of the most important aspects of the historical mission of Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College was established by the Legislative Act of 1873 that created the College. The Act stipulated that the institution was being established for the convenience and well-being of the poorer classes. The second statutory provision relating to the mission of the College was the Land Grant Act of 1890, which made the Morrill Act of 1862 applicable in every respect to Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College.
The Act of 1862 charges the College, without its excluding other scientific and classical studies, and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts. These subjects are to be taught in such manner as the State prescribes in order to provide the liberal and practical education of the laboring classes of people in the several pursuits and occupations of life.
Martha S. Lewis 1944 government official in New York city and state Danny K. Davis 1961 U.S. Representative for 7th Congressional District in Illinois Samuel L. Kountz 1952 performed the first successful Kidney transplant between humans who were not identical twins Jamil Nasser 1955 jazz musician, bassist Tevester Anderson 1962 former head basketball coach at Jackson State University and Murray State University Frank Burgess 1957 professional basketball player; later an attorney and U.S. federal judge for the Western District of Washington Burgess only attended one year before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. After serving a four-year tour, he transferred to Gonzaga University, where he eventually earned bachelor's and law degrees. Benjamin L. Pruitt 1960 music educator Joe Gardner 1966 jazz musician, trumpet Dr. Cleophus Charles 1966 Carter Woodson Professorship in Negro History, 1973-2000 Berea College, Berea KY David Dewitt Chapple 1966 musician, saxophonist, bandleader John Stubblefield 1967 jazz musician, sax, recording artist James Leary 1968 jazz/classical musician, bass, Sammy Davis, Jr., Count Basie Orchestra, Oakland Symphony L. C. Greenwood 1969 football player; former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman, a member of the famous Steel Curtain defense Terron Armstead NFL offensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints Cleo Miller 1973 former football player Ivory Lee Brown 1991 football player Smokie Norful 1995 Pastor, gospel singer and pianist Jamil Snowden 1995 football player Chris Akins former NFL defensive back Big Tuck rapper Greg Wesley 2000 current NFL defensive back Dante Wesley 2002 football player Courtney Van Buren 2003 former NFL offensive lineman Charles Ali 2007 football player; former Cleveland Browns Martell Mallett football player Don Zimmerman former NFL wide receiver K-Diamondz 2001 Hip-Hop Artist.