Albany State University was founded in 1903 by Joseph Winthrop Holley, the son of former slaves, who was inspired by the writings of W.E.B DuBois. He agreed with W.E.B DuBois and wanted to improve conditions for the South’s African American population by offering industrial and religious education. Initially Albany State University was the Albany Bible and Manual Training Institute with the goal to offer primary and secondary education and to train teachers. In 1917, the school gained state funding and a board of trustees and was renamed the Georgia Normal and Agricultural College. Also in 1917 it began offering two year post-secondary degrees. In 1932 affiliation with the Georgia University System was gained. Then in 1943, Georgia Normal and Agricultural College became Albany State College and granted it’s first baccalaureate degree as a four year university. It wasn’t until 1996 that Albany State College changed its name to its current one, Albany State University. Albany State University has had a long history and involvement with taking action in the community and it continues to build up leaders for the world.
Notable Alumni Include: Rapper, Rick Ross; actress (Family Matters) and singer, Jo Marie Payton; and former Georgia State Director of Rural Development for the United States Department of Agriculture, Shirley Sherrod