Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Jackson State University

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Type  Public, HBCU
Administrative staff  1,200
Mascot  Wavee Dave
Acceptance rate  67.5% (2015)
Academic staff  450
President  Rod Paige (interim)
Total enrollment  9,802 (2015)
Jackson State University

Former names  Natchez Seminary Jackson College Jackson State College
Motto  "Challenging Minds, Changing Lives"
Established  October 23, 1877 (1877-10-23)
Address  1400 John R. Lynch St, Jackson, MS 39217, USA
Similar  Alcorn State University, Mississippi Valley State Uni, Mississippi State University, Southern University and A&M, University of Southern Mississippi

Martin luther king jr parade 2017 jackson state university

Jackson State University (Jackson State or JSU) is a historically Black college and university ("HBCU") in Jackson, Mississippi, United States. It was founded during the Reconstruction era in 1877 in Natchez, Mississippi as Natchez Seminary by the American Baptist Home Mission Society of New York City. The Society moved the school to the capital, Jackson, in 1882, renaming it Jackson College. It developed its present campus in 1902.


It became a state-supported public institution in 1940. The university is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, Jackson State University is classified as a research university with high research activity. In the fall of 2015, Jackson State University reached a student population of nearly 10,000 students, an increase of 11% since Fall 2012. The university ranked as the fourth-largest HBCU in the nation.

Jackson state university marching in grambling state university 2016


The campus contains 51 academic and administrative buildings on 245 acres (0.99 km2). The main campus is located on JR Lynch Street (named for the African-American Congressman of the 19th century) between Prentiss and Dalton streets in the central region of the city.

Ayer Hall was constructed in 1903 and is the oldest structure on campus. It was named in honor of the first president of the institution. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. Green-Gibb Pedestrian Walkway (Plaza) was named in honor of those who died in the Jackson State killings in 1970. The Walter Payton Health & Wellness Center was constructed in 2006.

Jackson State also has satellite campuses throughout the Jackson Metropolitan area, including the Universities Center (Ridgewood Road location), JSU-Madison campus, JSU-Holmes campus, JSU- Mississippi E-Center, and JSU Downtown (Building 100 on Capital Street).


JSU colleges and schools include:

  • College of Business
  • College of Education and Human Development
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • College of Public Service
  • School of Public Health
  • College of Science, Engineering and Technology
  • School of Journalism and Media Studies
  • W.E.B. Du Bois Honors College
  • School of Life Long Learning
  • In 2015, JSU became the first university in Mississippi approved by the legislature to establish a School of Public Health.

    JSU is the only university in Mississippi to earn two consecutive "Apple Distinguished School" distinctions. Apple Inc. biennially acknowledges schools that uniquely incorporate technology into its curriculum. Since 2012, Jackson State University has provided all first-time, full-time freshmen brand new iPads to increase technology usage on campus.

    JSU is the first and only HBCU in Mississippi to support a bachelor's and master's level engineering program.

    JSU is one of only two universities in Mississippi with a comprehensive meteorology degree program.

    Diverse Issues in Higher Education ranked JSU as among the top universities in the nation for producing African Americans with bachelor's degrees in education, biology, and physical science.

    The W.E.B. Du Bois Honors College is an interdisciplinary college at the university that provides an unique academic experience for high-achieving undergraduate students.

    Jackson State University consistently ranks in the top 20 of HBCUs out of over 100 in the nation according to the U.S. News & World Report annual HBCU ranking.

    The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and 14 other accreditation granting institutions to offer bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and education specialist degrees.


    Athletic teams are a member of the NCAA Division I-FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) Southwestern Athletic Conference, commonly known as the SWAC. All SWAC sports are DI with Football being FCS. Currently, the university fields teams in men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, golf, tennis, soccer, and bowling; women's volleyball; and men's football. The university's mascot is the Tiger, and the teams are sometimes referred to as the "Blue Bengals."

    The Tiger men's football team has a heralded history, winning and sharing 16 SWAC titles, including 2007. Its most famous alumni includes NFL Hall of Famers Lem Barney, Jackie Slater and Walter Payton, and former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith. Former NFL wide-receiver, five-time Pro Bowler and Jackson State alumnus Harold Jackson, served as head football in 2014 and 2015.

    JSU's well-known rivals include Southern, Alcorn State, Mississippi Valley State, Tennessee State, and Texas Southern.

    Sonic Boom of the South

    The Jackson State University Marching Band, "The Sonic Boom of the South" is one of the largest marching bands in Mississippi. The band was organized in the early 1940s. As early as the mid-1920s, the University had a well-organized orchestra. The group was given the nickname "The Sonic Boom of the South" by band director Harold J. Haughton, Sr. in 1971. In 1971, the majorettes abandoned their batons and became a dance team known as the "'Prancing J-Settes"', also named by Haughton. In 1974, "Get Ready," an old Motown favorite was selected as the band's theme song. Also, during the mid-1970s, the "Tiger Run-On" was perfected. Created by Haughton, the "Tiger Run-On" is a fast, eye-catching shuffle step that blends an adagio step with an up-tempo shuffle (200 steps per minute), then back to adagio—a "Sonic Boom" trademark that brings fans to their feet during halftime performances. Oct 1990, Under the direction of Dowell Taylor and staff, five Sonic Boom of the South performed in Los Angeles, California for Motown 30-What's Going on. This was the event that set the wheels in motion for the national attention of the Sonic Boom.

    The Sonic Boom of the South is led by four drum majors collectively referred to as the "J-4".

    Student organizations

    Jackson State University offers over 100 registered student organizations. There are academic, residential, religious, pan Hellenic, and special interest groups established to serve the diverse interests of JSU's student community. All student organizations are governed under the Student Affairs division.

    Student body

    As of fall 2015, 79% of Jackson State's student community was from Mississippi, with the majority from Hinds County and Madison County. The top three feeder states were Illinois (358 students), Tennessee (196), and Georgia (193). China had the highest number of international students on campus with 47. 90% of students identified as black, 7% identified as white, and 3% identified with various race categories. 37% of students were male and 63% of students were female.

    Student media

    Jackson State is home to radio station WJSU-88.5 FM which plays jazz, gospel, news and public affairs programming. Jackson State University's public radio station, WJSU 88.5 FM, now airs one of its most popular programs on the new HBCU Sirius XM channel. Launched November 14, 2013 and airing on station 142, the HBCU Sirius XM channel is powered by Howard University. The WJSU program, Jazz Reflections, hosted by Gerard Howard, presents a spectrum of the traditional pioneers of jazz like Ella Fitzgerald, Max Roach, Miles Davis, Dinah Washington, and Duke Ellington. The program airs Fridays at 2 p.m. CST and is repeated throughout the week. It also presents rare recordings from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Jackson State University also owns a television station, W23BC known as JSUTV aired on Comcast. Jackson State also publishes the independent Blue and White Flash weekly student newspaper and the Jacksonian Magazine which features news and highlights about the university, its students, and alumni.


    Jackson State University Wikipedia