Alabama State University was founded in 1867, in Marion, Ala., as a school for African-Americans. The school started as the Lincoln Normal School with $500 raised by nine freed slaves now known as the Marion Nine, making ASU one of the nation’s oldest institutions of higher education founded for black Americans.
Today, Alabama State University, located in Montgomery, Ala., is a widely respected, world-class institution of higher learning which welcomes students of all races. We offer nearly 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, from our historic teacher education program to our new, high-demand programs in health sciences, new Ph.D. in microbiology and minor in international business.
The students who attend ASU are as diverse as our academic offerings, with students from more than 40 states and various countries seeking a top-notch education that extends far beyond the walls of a classroom. With a 20 to1 student-faculty ratio, students receive the personal attention, mentoring, encouragement and knowledge needed to achieve their dreams.
At ASU, we know that what happens outside the classroom is an essential part of the college experience. Our students enjoy a vibrant campus community where they’ll build life-long friendships and find a wide variety of social, cultural and sporting events. We have more than 70 clubs and organizations, including fraternities and sororities, and 18 intercollegiate sports.
Our location in Montgomery, the birthplace of the modern civil rights movement, offers students the unique opportunity to live, learn and grow in a city rich with culture and history. In fact, some of the most notable figures of the civil rights era – including the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, attorney Fred Gray and the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth – are counted among ASU’s many distinguished alumni.
Our 149-year history is a legacy of perseverance, progress and promise. We’re proud of our legacy, and we welcome students to dream, to share their unique gifts and talents, and to take pride in knowing they are part of a rich tradition.
History & Tradition
Alabama State University’s 148-year history is a legacy of perseverance, progress and promise. The ASU movement began with the impetus to establish a school for black Alabamians. The Civil War resulted in not only the end of slavery, but also in the opportunity for blacks to have the right to education. With the Northern victory, black Southerners, with the assistance of Northern white missionaries and the leaders of African-American churches, set out to establish educational institutions for the freedmen. ASU was born in that movement.
ASU is the global entity it is today because of the fortitude of nine freed slaves from Marion, Ala., who sought to build a school for African-Americans previously denied the right to an education. The foresight of these men, now remembered as the “Marion Nine,” created what is now known as Alabama State University.
The Marion Nine included Joey P. Pinch, Thomas Speed, Nicholas Dale, James Childs, Thomas Lee, John Freeman, Nathan Levert, David Harris and Alexander H. Curtis. These co-founders and original trustees, with assistance from Marion community members, raised $500 for land, and on July 18, 1867, filed incorporation papers to establish the Lincoln Normal School at Marion.
The Lincoln School opened its doors on November 13, 1867, with 113 students. In 1873, this predecessor of Alabama State University became the nation’s first state-sponsored liberal arts institution for the higher education of blacks, beginning ASU’s rich history as a “Teacher’s College.”
Alabama State University (ASU) will achieve global recognition through excellence in teaching, research and service. ASU will advance its current status as a premiere, comprehensive, Level VI regionally accredited institution, to a Doctoral/Research University (DRU) Carnegie Classification–designated institution. We shall become the destination university for students seeking a holistic educational experience. We will build upon quality scholarship and academic rigor to graduate a diverse corps of lifelong learners who are fully equipped to lead and succeed as citizens of the global workforce.
Alabama State University is a comprehensive diverse student- centered public HBCU committed to global excellence in teaching, research and service.
The University fulfills its mission by:
- Fostering critical thought
- Encouraging artistic creativity
- Developing professional competence
- Promoting responsible citizenship in its students
- Adding to the academic and experiential bodies of knowledge Enhancing the quality of life through research and discovery
- Cultivating global citizenship through thoughtful (meaningful, purposeful conscientious, intentional) and engaging public service
ASU offers baccalaureate through doctorate degrees in an expansive array of academic programs. We maintain a scholarly and creative faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and an atmosphere in which members of the university community live, work and learn in pleasant surroundings. ASU offers a bridge to success for those who commit to pursing quintessential educational opportunities and lifelong endeavors.
Alabama State University is located in historic Montgomery, Ala., on a beautiful 172-acre campus featuring lush landscaping, historic landmarks and both modern and traditional facilities that pay homage to the University’s proud past and bright future.
The campus is located only a short walk from the state capital, the state government complex and downtown Montgomery, making the downtown business and entertainment district, art galleries, state archives, museums and historical sites readily accessible to students.
ASU has experienced tremendous growth during the past few years, with the addition of a number of new campus buildings to accommodate increased enrollment and exciting new academic programs. The most recent construction includes The New ASU Stadium, the University’s $62 million football stadium which opened in November 2012, and the John Garrick Hardy Student Services Center, our 81,000-square-foot facility that is designed to be a one-stop shop for recreation and for transacting important student business.
Other new facilities include two expansive new co-ed residence halls, as well as a renovation and 46,000-square-foot addition to the University’s Library and Media facility, the Levi Watkins Learning Center, new baseball and softball fields and a football complex, which houses coaches’ offices, a state-of-the-art training and weight room, a film room and much more.
Visiting ASU Campus Tours
Whether you’re a prospective student considering a visit to Alabama State University as part of your college search or a community member attending an event on our campus, we’ll do everything possible to make your visit a rewarding experience.
Tours of our campus are offered throughout the week. To schedule a tour, complete the online request.
Parking at ASU
For the convenience of our campus guests, ASU has several designated spaces for visitor parking. If you will require visitor parking on our campus, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps:
- Stop by ASU’s Department of Public Safety to sign in as a visitor and obtain a visitor’s parking pass. This office is located at 1452 Carter Hill Road, across from the Wheeler-Watkins Baseball Complex.
- Hang your visitor’s parking pass from your rearview mirror, or place in the corner of your driver’s side dashboard so that it’s visible through the windshield.
- Park in one of the visitor’s parking spaces, as indicated by campus signage.
Directions to ASU
From the Montgomery Regional Airport
Start out going EAST on SELMA HWY/US-80 E/AL-21 N/AL-8 toward BREWER RD. Continue to follow US-80E. Merge onto I-65N toward MONTGOMERY/BIRMINGHAM. Merge onto I-85 N / MARTIN LUTHER KING JR EXPY via EXIT 171 toward ATLANTA. Take the COURT ST exit- EXIT 1. Stay STRAIGHT to go onto ARBA ST. Turn RIGHT onto S DECATUR ST. Turn SLIGHT LEFT onto S UNION ST. Turn RIGHT onto N UNIVERSITY DR. Turn LEFT onto S JACKSON ST. End at 915 S Jackson St Montgomery, AL.
Take I-65 South toward MONTGOMERY. Merge onto I-85 N / MARTIN LUTHER KING JR EXPY via EXIT 171 toward ATLANTA. Take the COURT ST exit- EXIT 1. Stay STRAIGHT to go onto ARBA ST. Turn RIGHT onto S DECATUR ST. Turn SLIGHT LEFT onto S UNION ST. Turn RIGHT onto N UNIVERSITY DR. Turn LEFT onto S JACKSON ST. End at 915 S Jackson St Montgomery, AL.
Take I-85 South toward MONTGOMERY (Crossing into ALABAMA).Take the UNION ST exit- EXIT 1- toward STATE CAPITOL / ALA STATE UNIV. Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto S UNION ST. Turn RIGHT onto GROVE ST. Turn RIGHT onto S JACKSON ST. End at 915 S Jackson St Montgomery, AL.
Take I-165 North toward MONTGOMERY. Merge onto I-85 N / MARTIN LUTHER KING JR EXPY via EXIT 171 toward ATLANTA. Take the COURT ST exit- EXIT 1. Stay STRAIGHT to go onto ARBA ST. Turn RIGHT onto S DECATUR ST. Turn SLIGHT LEFT onto S UNION ST. Turn RIGHT onto N UNIVERSITY DR. Turn LEFT onto S JACKSON ST. End at 915 S Jackson St Montgomery, AL.