Jackson State University is a public predominantly African-America university. Founded in 1877, it was initially in Natchez and was the Natchez Seminary. JSU moved to Jackson in 1882, and the current campus was built in 1902. It is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and is a research university with a large population of 10,000 students.
There are 51 buildings on a spacious 245-acre campus. The oldest building on campus is Ayer Hall, built in 1903, and on the National Register of Historic Places. There are satellite campuses throughout metro Jackson to make higher education accessible to many neighborhoods. Jackson State University is well known for providing bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, which is a growing filed providing many job opportunities. Jackson State is unique in that it also offers a meteorology undergraduate degree program. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits the university.
Sports teams compete in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision and the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Teams include basketball, baseball, softball, golf, tennis, soccer, and bowling for both men and women. The women have a volleyball team, and the men compete in football. Chicago Bear, Walter Payton was a member of the Jackson State University football team.
The “Sonic Boom of the South” is the name of the university band and it was formed in the first part of the 1940s. The Motown hit, “Get Ready” became band’s theme song in the 70s. When the band plays it’s theme song; the crowd goes wild.
There are over 100 student organizations including academic, religious, Greek, and special interest groups and they provide a rich experience for Jackson State’s students. 75% of Jackson State’s enrollees are from the immediate area and state of Mississippi. There are also significant student populations from the nearby states of Illinois, Louisiana, and Tennessee. 34% of students are male, and 66% of students are female.
WJSU is the student radio station, and it programs jazz and gospel music and large blocks of news features. Jackson State’s television station is W23BC and airs on Comcast as JSUTV. The weekly student newspaper is the “Blue and White Flash,” and the Jacksonian Magazine publishes news and features about all aspects of the university.