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Jackson State University

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Title: Jackson State University  
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Subject: List of Washington Redskins players, 2006–07 NCAA Division I men's basketball season, Atlanta Falcons draft history, Carolyn Meyers, Alcorn State University
Collection: Buildings and Structures in Jackson, Mississippi, Education in Jackson, Mississippi, Educational Institutions Established in 1877, Historically Black Universities and Colleges in the United States, Jackson State University, Jackson, Ms Metropolitan Statistical Area, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Universities and Colleges Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Universities and Colleges in Mississippi, Universities and Colleges in the Jackson Metropolitan Area
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Jackson State University

Jackson State University
Former names
Natchez Seminary
Jackson College
Jackson State College
Motto "Challenging Minds, Changing Lives"
Established October 23, 1877 (1877-10-23)
Type Public, HBCU
President Carolyn Meyers
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 9,802[1]
Location Jackson, Mississippi, United States
Colors Navy blue and White
Athletics NCAA Division I
Nickname Tigers
Mascot Bengal Tiger
Website .edu.jsumswww
Jackson State University

(Jackson State, or JSU) is a historically black university in Jackson, Mississippi, United States. Founded in 1877 in Natchez, Mississippi as Natchez Seminary by the American Baptist Home Mission Society of New York, the Society moved the school to Jackson in 1882, renaming it Jackson College, and developed its present campus in 1902. It became a state-supported public institution in 1940, and it is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, Jackson State University is a research university with high research activity.[2] In the fall of 2015, Jackson State University reached a student population of nearly 10,000 students, an increase of 11% since fall 2012 which placed the university as the fourth largest HBCU in the nation.[3]


  • Campus 1
  • Academics 2
  • Student activities 3
    • Athletics 3.1
    • Sonic Boom of the South 3.2
    • Student organizations 3.3
    • Student media 3.4
  • Notable alumni 4
    • Education 4.1
    • Arts, TV and Radio Media, Entertainment and Music 4.2
    • Politics, Law, and Government 4.3
    • Sports 4.4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The campus contains 51 academic and administrative buildings on 245 acres (0.99 km2). The main campus is located on JR Lynch St between Prentiss and Dalton St.

Ayer Hall was constructed in 1903 and is the oldest structure on campus. It was named in honor of the First President and was named to 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. The Walter Payton Health & Wellness Center was constructed in 2006. Jackson State also has satellite campus throughout the Jackson-Metropolitan area which includes, The Universities Center (Ridgewood Road location), JSU-Madison campus, JSU-Holmes campus, JSU- Mississippi E-Center, and JSU Downtown (Building 100 on Capital Street).


University rankings
Forbes[4] 462
Washington Monthly[5] 32[6]

JSU colleges include:

  • College of Business
  • College of Education and Human Development
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • College of Public Service
  • College of Science, Engineering and Technology

In 2015, JSU became the first university in Mississippi approved to establish a School of Public Health.[7]

Student activities


Official Athletics logo

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.[8] 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 was named head football coach in January 2014.

The men's golf team has gained some notoriety as it has become a SWAC powerhouse and perennial NCAA tournament participant under head coach Eddie Payton, older brother of Walter Payton.

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 a more than 300-member group.

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, The 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 five drum majors traditionally collectively referred to as the "J-5".

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.[9] All student organizations are governed under the Student Affairs division.

Student media

Jackson State is home to radio station WJSU-FM which plays jazz, gospel, news and public affairs programming. Jackson State University’s public radio station, WJSU 88.5FM, 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.

Notable alumni


Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Dr. Rod Paige 1955 First African-American to serve as Secretary of Education during President George W. Bush administration from 2001-2005, and former head football coach at Jackson State from 1964-1968

Arts, TV and Radio Media, Entertainment and Music

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Vivian Brown Weather Channel meteorologist [10]
Demarco Morgan News anchor for WNBC in New York City.
Percy Greene founded the Jackson Advocate newspaper, Mississippi's oldest black-owned newspaper
Annie Hawkins-Turner (aka Norma Stitz) 1979 Internet Entrepreneur and Fetish Model [11]
Willie Norwood American Gospel singer. He is the father and voice coach of R&B singers Brandy and Ray J
Tonea Stewart Actress and Educator
Cassandra Wilson Jazz vocalist and musician
Gabbie McGee 2001 Jazz vocalist, songwriter, and musician
Kenyatta Jones 2002 Reality TV star, Fashion Designer and CEO of Bella Renee Clothing in Atlanta, GA

Politics, Law, and Government

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Cornell William Brooks 1983 18th President and CEO of the NAACP
Emmett C. Burns, Jr. Member of the Maryland House of Delegates

from the 10th district

Robert G. Clark, Jr. Politician who was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1967. He was the first African American elected to the Mississippi State Legislature since the Reconstruction era.
Malcolm D. Jackson CIO at Environmental Protection Agency during President Barack Obama administration. He is a Presidential Appointment. [12]
Flossie Boyd-McIntyre 1960 Member North Carolina House of Representatives (1994-2002) [13]
Carlton W. Reeves 1986 Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi
Bennie G. Thompson Member U. S. House of Representatives. Serving from April 1993 to Current
Tony Yarber Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi [14]


Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Shasta Averyhardt 2008 Professional golfer, 1st African-American woman to qualify for the LPGA Tour since 2001, and its fourth African-American woman member in the 60-year history of the tour. [15]
Lem Barney NFL Hall of Fame cornerback with the Detroit Lions
Marcus Benard 2009 Current NFL linebacker
Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd former Major League Baseball pitcher
Corey Bradford former National Football League wide receiver
Robert Brazile former 7-time NFL Pro Bowl outside linebacker with the Houston Oilers [16]
Wes Chamberlain former Major League outfielder
Dave Clark former Major League outfielder
Eddie Payton 1973 NFL kick returner; current Jackson State golf coach
Walter Payton 1975 NFL Hall of Fame running back; played entire career for the Chicago Bears
Archie "Gunslinger" Cooley 1962 former head football coach at Mississippi Valley State University, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Norfolk State University, and Paul Quinn College
Leslie "Speedy" Duncan former 4-time NFL Pro-Bowl cornerback with the San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins.
Marvin Freeman former Major League pitcher
Cletis Gordon former NFL defensive back
Lindsey Hunter Former NBA point guard. Won the 2001–02 championship with the Los Angeles Lakers and the 2003–04 championship with the Detroit Pistons. He was formerly the interim heach coach of the Phoenix Suns.
Harold Jackson current Jackson State Head Football Coach;former NFL wide receiver; played majority career with the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots
Thadeus Jackson NFL assistant coach
Claudis James former NFL player
Jaymar Johnson 2008 current NFL wide receiver
Trey Johnson current NBA/NBA Development League Player
Robert Kent Jackson State and professional quarterback
Ed Manning Drafted by the Baltimore Bullets in the 8th round (1st pick, 80th overall) of the 1967 NBA draft, father of Danny Manning
Picasso Nelson Gridiron football player
Audie Norris former NBA Power Forward and superstar for Winterthur FC Barcelona in the late 1980s
Donald Reese NFL Player; played for the Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints and the San Diego Chargers [17]
Purvis Short former NBA small forward for the Golden State Warriors in the mid-1980s
Jackie Slater NFL Hall of Fame offensive tackle; played entire career with the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams
Jimmy Smith Retired NFL wide receiver; played majority career with the Jacksonville Jaguars [18]
Karen Taylor Played professionally in Europe, mother of Stanley Johnson [19]
Michael Tinsley 2006 Track & Field sprinter

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research (2014). "Carnegie Classifications". Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. Retrieved August 15, 2015. 
  5. ^ "2015 National Universities Rankings". Washington Monthly. n.d. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  6. ^ "2014 National Universities Rankings". Washington Monthly. n.d. Retrieved May 25, 2015. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Oliver leads Jackson State to SWAC title". The ClarionLedger. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Vivian Brown". The Weather Channel Interactive, Inc. Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  11. ^ "Annie Hawkins-Turner LinkedIn profile".  
  12. ^ "Malcolm D. Jackson, Chief Information Officer and Assistant Administrator for the Office of Environmental Information". 
  13. ^ "Flossie Boyd-McIntyre Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  14. ^ "Office of the Mayor". City of Jackson, Mississippi. Retrieved April 2014. 
  15. ^ "Former Jackson State golfer Shasta Averyhardt qualifies of LPGA tour". 
  16. ^ "Robert Lorenzo Brazile". Retrieved November 10, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Donald Francis Reese". Retrieved November 10, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Jimmy Lee Smith". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  19. ^ Bruce Pascoe (7 November 2013) Johnson fulfills mom’s hoops wishes Arizona Daily Star. Accessed 7 July 2015.

External links

  • Official website
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