Central State University, commonly referred to as CSU, is a historically black university (HBCU) located in Wilberforce, Ohio, United States. It is the only public HBCU in Ohio. Central State University is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
Central State University's history began when Wilberforce College was privately established in Tawawa Springs, Ohio, in 1856. This was founded as a collaboration between the Cincinnati Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME); leaders of both races comprised the board of trustees.
In 1887, the Ohio General Assembly enacted legislation to create the Combined Normal and Industrial Department at Wilberforce College, to provide training for teachers of lower grades and vocational education. This department operated as part of Wilberforce University, since 1863 owned and operated by the African Methodist Episcopal Church. A separately appointed board of trustees governed the state-financed operations. This arrangement allowed state legislators to sponsor scholarship students at the university and brought other forms of financial aid.
In 1941 the Normal and Industrial Department expanded from a two- to a four-year program. It was legally split from Wilberforce College in 1947, when it became the College of Education and Industrial Arts at Wilberforce, Ohio.
In 1951, it was renamed Central State College. With the expansion of graduate departments, the institution achieved university status in 1965.
Central State University is accredited by the Ohio Department of Education, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, and the National Association of Schools of Music.
In 2011, the annual cost of all fees and tuition at Central State University was about $11,500. The college has on-campus housing for about 1400 students, at $4,000 annually.
Central State operates four colleges: the College of Education, College of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences, College of Business, and College of Science and Engineering
The main campus is located in Wilberforce, 4 miles (6.4 km) northeast of Xenia, 18 miles (29 km) east of Dayton and midway between Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio (about 55 miles (89 km) from each city). A branch campus (CSU-Dayton) is located in Dayton.
Adjacent to the main campus is an outdoor education area, a natural reserve. Within a hundred yards of the Robeson Center is the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, operated by the Ohio Historical Society.
The campus housing complex, which houses approximately 1,650 students, consists of eight residence halls: Hunter Hall (freshman males), Green Hall (upperclassmen male), Anderson Hall (upperclassmen male), Fox Hall (co-ed honors), Harry-Johns Hall (co-ed honors), Foundation Hall (freshmen females), and Foundation Hall II (co-ed upperclassmen).
Originally constructed in 1950 with an addition completed in 1967, Banneker Hall housed science laboratories and a botanical laboratory and greenhouse. The building was demolished in Fall 2010 for a proposed expanded student union center.
Constructed in 1961, Beacom Gymnasium is the home of the Marauders volleyball and basketball teams and provides office space for the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. The original Beacom Gymnasium constructed in 1919 was destroyed by fire in 1971. The natatorium was constructed in 1966.
The Library/College of Education building was completed in 1985 and houses the main library, classrooms, and offices for the College of Education. The library portion of the building is named in honor of long-time educator and public speaker Hallie Q. Brown. The College of Education is named for teacher, department chairperson and dean, Dr. Clara A. Henderson.
The Cosby Center houses the university's telecommunications programs (including radio, television and print journalism) and the campus-based radio station WCSU-FM. It was constructed in 1958 and named the Lucinda Cook Laboratory Demonstration School.
The facility houses the offices of the CSU General Alumni Association. The building was named in honor of Dr. William Galloway, a physician who served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Combined Normal and Industrial Department. It was rebuilt following the 1974 tornado that destroyed the original Galloway Hall. Funds to reconstruct the tower were raised by alumni and friends of Central State University. During the university's Centennial celebration in 1987, the Alumni Center was named in honor of Walter G. Sellers Sr., a 1951 CSU graduate.
Home of the Department of Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering, the building is named in honor of Carl C. Jenkins, a superintendent of the Combined Normal and Industrial Department. An earlier building, constructed in 1941, was also named for Jenkins and housed the Physical Education Department, Army ROTC, and Bookstore and Grill. Destroyed in 1974, the original Jenkins Hall housed the audio-visual department, the campus radio station, the bookstore, and office of the CSU Federal Credit Union at the time.
Three programs are housed in the facility opened in 1987: Water Resources Management, Geology, and Earth Sciences.
Opened in 1978, the center houses administrative offices, examination and treatment rooms, and laboratory facilities. It replaced the former campus health center, also named for Dr. Lackey and earlier known as Tawawa Hospital, which was among the buildings destroyed in 1974. The building is named for Dr. Harry M. Lackey (university physician from 1921 to 1953), Bishop Benjamin F. Lee (president of Wilberforce University from 1876 to 1884), Benjamin F. Lee, Jr. (a faculty member), and Benjamin F. Lee, III (physician who served the campus and the community).
McPherson Stadium is home to the Marauder football and track and field teams. Originally constructed in 1949, the structure has been renovated to expand and modernize the locker room, training room, and office spaces. It is named in honor of Combined Normal and Industrial Department graduate William Patrick McPherson, who was killed in action in World War II.
The administration building was dedicated in 1978 and named in honor of Dr. Lionel H. Newsom, president of Central State from 1972 to 1985. It was constructed on the remaining portion of the Hallie Q. Brown Memorial Library, heavily damaged in the 1974 tornado. The building houses administrative and financial offices, the administrative computer center, and the Office of the Registrar.
The Paul Robeson Cultural and Performing Arts Center houses the art and music departments, classrooms, and studios. It was dedicated in 1978 in honor of the singer, actor, activist and winner of the Stalin Peace Prize, Paul Robeson. The building includes an 850-seat auditorium and a recital hall. A large sculpture of Robeson in front of the center was commissioned by Camille and William Cosby.
Smith Hall was completed in 1970 and named in honor of Charles S. Smith, founder of the College of Business Administration. It houses the College of Business Administration's classrooms and laboratories and an academic computer center.
The building houses a bookstore, commuter lounge, and office spaces for the Admissions Department, Financial Aid Department, Career Services Department, Student Government Association and the Dean of Students. It is named for 1950 graduate, Norman Ward Sr, an outstanding athlete, teacher, coach, and administrator.
Wesley Hall houses the College of Arts and Sciences' administrative offices, classrooms and offices. It is named in honor of Central State University's first president, Charles H. Wesley (1941 to 1967).
Houses the School of Education and Natural Sciences department of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Central State's athletic teams are known as the Marauders and Lady Marauders. The university competes as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the Division II level. The university fields ten sports including: men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, and women's volleyball. Central State is an Independent member of Division II in nine sports, while the football team competes in the Great Lakes Football Conference (now absorbed into the Great Lakes Valley Conference to sponsor football). CSU's main athletic rival is Kentucky State University. The athletic director is Jahan Culbreath, a 1992 graduate.
The Central State University Marauder football team experienced much success in Division II and NAIA during the 1980s through 1995 under then head football coaches, William "Billy" Joe (1981 to 1993) and Rick Comegy (1993 to 1996). Under Billy Joe, the Marauders were NCAA Division II runners-up in 1983 and won the NAIA Football National Championship (Division I) in 1990 and 1992. Under Comegy, a former assistant coach under Joe, the Marauders won the NAIA Football National Championship (Division I) in 1995. The heyday of Central State football ended in the late 1990s when the university administration was forced to drop the football program in 1997 due to financial difficulties and a significant drop of enrollment. In 2005, under new administration leadership of president Dr. John W. Garland, Esq, (Class of 1971), the university reinstated the Central State Marauder football program.
Notable Marauder alumni who went on to play in the National Football League include: Vince Heflin, Vince Buck, Erik Williams, Hugh Douglas, Charles Hope Brandon Hayes and Kerwin Waldroup.
There are approximately 30 student organizations operating on campus. These student organizations are classified under six categories: Academic, Business, Special Interest, Religions, Honorary and Greek letter organizations. The Office of the University Center and Student Development in conjunction with the SGA's Inter organization Committee monitors the recognized student organizations activities.
The Student Government Association (SGA) serves as a liaison between the students and the administration, sharing decision making responsibility with the faculty and staff on matters that affect campus life. The SGA also oversees many student activities, represents the student body, and serves as an advisory body.
All nine of the National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations currently have chapters at Central State University. These organizations are governed by the Central State University's chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and overseen by the Director of the University Center and Student Development.
The university's marching band, nicknamed the Invincible Marching Marauders, directed by Mr. Ramon Key, was featured prominently in the 2006 film Dave Chappelle's Block Party and has performed twice at the Honda Battle of the Bands.
Director of Bands: Ramon W. Key Jr. Auxiliary Corps Director: Sylvia G. Kelley Band Administrator: Lindon Phillips Drum Line Instructor: Virgil Goodwine Current Section Leaders 2012-2013; Trumpets-Lashanda Cavin, Flutes-Tiffany Cheney, Saxophones-Jerry Harris,Trombones- Tony Miller, Baritones- Dimetrius Oliver, French Horn-Herbert Jackson, Tubas-Michael Smith, Percussion-Elijah Russell, Clarinet-Briana McMillan.
The Central State University Chorus has twice been nominated for a Grammy Award for its recordings.