TSU was originally organized as the Agricultural and Industrial State Normal School 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. After another five years, “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. Since 1972, it has been operated under the auspices of the Tennessee Board of Regents.
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. TSU has been listed for 11 consecutive years in the U.S. News & World Report “Guide to America’s Best Colleges.”