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From beginnings in 1892 in a one-room structure with 25 pupils and a single teacher, Winston-Salem State University has grown into a campus covering 94 acres enrolling over 3,000 students. Slater Industrial Academy, as the institution was first known, was transformed by a legislative appropriation in 1895 into a teacher training school. The institution was long known as Winston-Salem Teachers College. It gained university status in 1969. Today education of teachers remains a core mission for the school, which is also noted for its nursing program, founded in 1953, and for Diggs Art Gallery.
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Simon Green Atkins was that original teacher and served as president of the school from 1892 to 1904 and again from 1913 to 1934. Under his leadership the school became the first historically African American institution in the nation to grant degrees for teaching the elementary grades. Since July 1, 1972, Winston-Salem State University has been one of the constituent institutions of the University of North Carolina.
E. Louise Murphy, History of Winston-Salem State University, 1892-1995 (1999)
William S. Powell, ed.,Encyclopedia of North Carolina (2006)
Winston-Salem State University website: http://www.wssu.edu/wssu