Bowie State University ("Bowie State"), is a public university located on 355½ acres (1.4 km²) in unincorporated Prince George's County, Maryland, United States, north of the suburban city of Bowie. Bowie State is part of the University System of Maryland. Bowie State is Maryland's oldest historically black university and one of the ten oldest in the country. Bowie State is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
BSU has 20 undergraduate majors, 20 master’s programs, two doctoral programs, 10 graduate certificate programs and 2 certificates of advanced study in disciplines as diverse as computer science, education, human resource development, organizational communication, and nursing. In partnership with the University of Maryland University College, Bowie State University became the first historically black university to include overseas studies. It was also the first university in the nation to offer a bachelor's degree in pedology. Programs include a rare doctoral degree in education leadership, a program for education administrators.
In 1995, NASA and the National Science Foundation awarded $27 million as one of only six schools in the nation declared Model Institutions for Excellence in science, engineering, and mathematics. This led to a strengthening of the already growing computer science program; in 1999, the Maryland Higher Education Commission approved the school's additional focus in computers and technology. Since then new technology related programs including music technology and a strengthened computer science department have been added.
The university is home to The Maryland Center, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1998 providing community services. In partnership with the federal General Services Administration, the campus hosts the Bowie State University Telecommuting Center, which has state-of-the-art workstations and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Telecommuting Center can be used by anyone.
Bowie State's history began in 1865 when the Baltimore Association for the Moral and Educational Improvement of Colored People established the Baltimore Normal School in Baltimore, Maryland to train African American teachers. In 1908 the school was renamed Normal School No. 3 after the state Board of Education provided funding for and assumed control of the institution.
By 1914 the school had moved to Prince George's County, Maryland and become known as the Maryland Normal and Industrial School at Bowie. From 1911 until 1921, Don Speed Smith Goodloe served as principal and in 1914-15 built the Don S. S. Goodloe House, which was added in 1988 to the National Register of Historic Places. From 1921 until 1941, Dr. Leonidas S. James served as principal. It became the Maryland State Teachers College at Bowie in 1935 and Bowie State College in 1963.
In 1925, under the auspices of Dr. Leonidas S. James, a two-year professional curriculum in teacher education was created and was later expanded to a three-year program. A four-year program was created in 1935 for the training of elementary school teachers. With approval from the State Board of Education, the program was expanded in 1951 to include training for junior high school teachers. Ten years later, a teacher-training program for secondary education was established. In 1963, a liberal arts program was started.
On July 1, 1988, Bowie State achieved university status, reflecting the significant growth of the school's programs, enrollment, and service to the local area. On the same day, it also became one of the constituent institutions of the newly formed University System of Maryland.
Bowie State College was authorized to grant its first graduate degree, a Master of Education, in 1970. The school's first doctoral program was also in the field of education, with a Doctorate of Educational Leadership, earned by 16 students during the May 2005 commencement.
Campus and facilities
The campus comprises over 24 buildings with more than 988,897 square feet (92,000 m²) of space. The campus is located in Bowie, Maryland between the metropolitan areas of Baltimore (25 miles) and Washington D.C. (17 miles). An on-campus MARC Train station and Metrobus stops provide access to local transit. It is a wireless campus equipped with Wi-Fi and public computer labs across campus for student use.
Twenty-three percent of students live on campus in seven residence halls. Cultural performances, lectures and sporting events are among the frequent on campus events. Built in 1921, the oldest building still in use is Harriet Tubman Hall. The $17.6 million School of Business and Graduate Studies is the newest building on campus. Other recent additions to the campus include the Christa McAuliffe Residential Community (CMRC) apartments, the Computer Science Building, a state-of-the-art facility serving the computer science and computer technology programs, and the $6.5 million Center for Learning Technology (CLT), serving the College of Professional Studies.
On campus, the Bowie State Satellite Operations Control Center (BSOCC) is an orbiting satellite operation and control center allowing students to gain hands-on experience in such a facility. In 2003, the center went fully operational. It is a joint venture operated by the university, the Honeywell Corporation, and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.
In September 2007, the University began negotiations with Prince George's County for the transfer of 214 acres (0.87 km2) of land to the school. According to county documents, the land, valued at $1.3 million, would cost the University nothing if used "for educational uses including facilities that benefit the welfare of students and faculty in their educational experience at the University." The addition of this land would increase the size of the university by 63%. The main focus for the land is the development of additional student dorms. The land will also be used to establish several retail businesses that will cater to students and the community.
The Department of Public Safety (BSUDPS, BSUPD or Campus Police) is the primary law enforcement agency for the university and is charged with the protection of life and property in its 338.5 acres (1.370 km2) jurisdiction. The BSUPD is aided by the Prince George's County Police Department for major felonies and other incidents deemed appropriate by authority.
The BSUPD started its tenure as a security force at the university's conception on April 8, 1908 at the "Maryland Normal and Industrial School in Bowie" with an initial endowment of 187 acres (0.76 km2) of campus property. All officers under the authority of the BSUDPS are "vested with full police authority under provisions of Title 13, Subtitle 6, Section 13-601, Educational Article, and Annotated Code of Maryland. In addition, police officers are granted additional jurisdictional authority as prescribed in the Criminal Procedure Act, Title 2, Subtitle 1, Section 2-102."
The Department of Public Safety reports directly to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Life. In addition to enforcing laws of the State of Maryland and statutes of Prince George's County, the BSUPD is charged with enforcing regulations of the University and, as such, regulations are enforced internally and handled by the Dean.
The current Chief of Police/Director of Public Safety is Ernest L. Waiters. The BSUPD has a complement of:
Bowie State's athletes compete in the Northern Division of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, participating in the NCAA's Division II.
The Bulldogs play the following sports:
They compete and/or train on-campus in Bulldog Stadium, the Leonidas James Physical Education Complex, and A.C. Jordan Arena.
Bowie State has many academic clubs, fraternities, honor societies, organizations, sororities, and student associations on-campus. The computer, education, French, and history clubs are examples of the academic clubs. The art guild, concert and marching bands, jazz and brass ensembles, and others allow students to explore the fine and performing arts.
The honor societies represented at BSU include Delta Mu Delta, Lambda Pi Eta, and Sigma Tau Delta. The student newspapers, Bulldogcollegian.com and The Spectrum, along with WBSU Radio allow for students to monitor campus events and news.
The Symphony of Soul, also known as SOS, is the name of the marching/concert/pep band at Bowie State University. Adolph E. Wright is the Director of Bands at Bowie State University, where he has successfully built the SOS from 30 members, upon his arrival at BSU in 1998, to 185 members by the fall of 2001. Under the leadership of Mr. Wright the Symphony of Soul has received rave reviews following collegiate performances, as well as when representing the University abroad.
Each year, the SOS takes a trip to Montreal, Canada to perform for the Montreal Alouettes. During the fall, students always expect the usual impromptu parade through the campus by the SOS. They were also a part of the NFL 2007-2008 season opener as they performed the National Anthem with Aretha Franklin and shared the stage with other recording artist such as Aerosmith, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and others. The SOS was featured in the Original Battle of the Bands held at RFK Stadium and its drumline was named as one of Showtime Magazines top ten amongst HBCU’s.