Brief Description:

WSSU - 125th Years

For 125 years, Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) has fostered the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn. Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.


Mission Statement:

WSSU 125th logoWinston-Salem State University is a comprehensive, historically Black university offering innovative undergraduate programs and exceptional graduate programs grounded in the tradition of liberal education. Students engage in active and experiential learning offered through flexible delivery modes. The university is dedicated to the holistic development of students by faculty dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and service. As a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, Winston-Salem State University contributes to the social, cultural, intellectual and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond.

President's Quote:

"Dr. Simon Green Atkins founded Slater Academy (now WSSU) to provide educational opportunities for the children and grandchildren of recently emancipated slaves. The curriculum was designed to help students achieve upward mobility, economic stability and the ability to thrive. WSSU continues Dr. Atkins’ legacy by providing our students with high-impact learning experiences, such as internships, research projects and study abroad opportunities—all of which serve to build knowledge, cultivate talent and mold character. I know Dr. Atkins would be proud of the work we are doing and impressed by the growth and evolution of this great campus."

Major Accomplishments:

  • CollegeNET names WSSU a 'Social Mobility Innovator' (Read more)
  • WSSU launches economic mobility research center supported by $3 million gift (Read more)


Fun Facts:

  • First in the University of North Carolina System for graduates receiving jobs in North Carolina after graduation
  • First in North Carolina for graduating Black students in the field of nursing
  • First in North Carolina for graduating Black students in the field of education
  • The Departments of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy have 100 percent licensure board pass rates
  • WSSU is the only four-year public university and only historically Black college or university (HBCU) in the nation that offers a bachelor of science degree program in motorsports management
  • WSSU's Diggs Gallery was identified as one of the top 10 African-American galleries in the nation and one of the nation’s best regional facilities for contemporary African art


Notable Alumni:

  • Cleo Hill was an American professional basketball player who was selected by the St. Louis Hawks in the first round (8th overall) of the 1961 NBA draft.
  • Timmy Newsome is a former American football fullback in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys.
  • John L. Adams is an actor and director known for The Dead Zone (2002) and Serving Justice (2011).
  • Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, 1964-67, is a former NBA guard and member of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
  • Stephen A. Smith is an American ESPN personality and co-star of ESPN First Take.
  • Richard Huntley is a former professional American football running back in the NFL. He played six seasons for the Atlanta Falcons (1996), the Pittsburgh Steelers (1998-2000), the Carolina Panthers (2001) and the Detroit Lions (2002).
  • Louise Smith is tied for the second woman to race in NASCAR at the top level. She was known as "the first lady of racing."
  • Dennis L.A. White is an American stage and screen actor noted for portraying Damion "D-Roc" Butler in the Notorious B.I.G. biopic, Notorious, and the re-occurring character Mistah Ray on NBC's Parenthood.
  • Yancey Thigpen is a former NFL wide receiver who played for the San Diego Chargers (1991), the Pittsburgh Steelers (1992-1997) and the Tennessee Oilers/Titans.
  • Wanda Maria Howell is an American actress and singer. She made her film debut in The Color Purple (1985) and appeared in Hidden Figures (2016) as Ms. Sumner.
  • William Hayes is an American football defensive end for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
  • Ted Blunt is a retired American elected official, educator and former athlete. Ted served as the former President, City Council of Wilmington, Del.



  • "Coming to WSSU was one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life. There's an incomparable rich culture, family atmosphere, school spirit, and competitive hunger for success here that is unmatched." - Tiana M. Edwards '19
  • "My experience at WSSU has been indescribable! I have developed several relationships with both peers and faculty members that will follow me throughout my lifetime." - Sydney Neely '17
  • "If I had known then what I know now about Winston-Salem State, I would not have even wasted time applying to other colleges. WSSU is outstanding." - Da'Cor Wiggins '16
  • "When I think about WSSU, my thoughts are of dignity and integrity. The atmosphere of an HBCU is like none other. I was taught to be determined, think fast on my feet and a have great sense of pride for myself." - Devin Davis '16