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Norfolk State University

Norfolk State University is a public four-year, liberal arts school based in Norfolk, Virginia. A member school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Norfolk State University was founded in 1935 in the midst of the Great Depression. It was named the Norfolk Unit of Virginia Union University and was originally a part of Virginia State College; in 1969, the school became fully independent and separated from Virginia State College. Today, Norfolk State University is one of the largest HBCUs in the nation.

Mission Statement:

Norfolk State University, a comprehensive urban public institution, is committed to transforming students’ lives through exemplary teaching, research and service. Offering a supportive academic and culturally diverse environment for all, the University empowers its students to turn their aspirations into reality and achieve their full potential as well rounded, resourceful citizens and leaders for the 21st century. 

Notable Alumni: violinist Karen Briggs; Evelyn J. Fields, the first woman and African American to hold director of the Office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); and comedian J.B. Smoove.

Mascot: “Spiro” the Spartan

Enrollment: 5,616 students

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HBCU Spotlight: Norfolk State University  was originally published on