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NSU Celebrates Its 85th Anniversary

During a time when it was believed that many African Americans’ prospects were limited, there were those who knew that a future offering great possibilities was achievable. And so, Norfolk State University was established in the midst of the Great Depression, opening its doors on September 18, 1935. It became a vessel for new and exciting opportunities for the region’s youth.

Named the Norfolk Unit of Virginia Union University at its founding, Norfolk State was the last historically black institution established in the Commonwealth of Virginia. By 1969, Norfolk State began its transformation into a vibrant, independent college and in 1979, it obtained university status. As the University celebrates its 85th Anniversary, Norfolk State remains a source of inspiration for those who aspire to fulfill their dreams of attaining a college education and earning a degree.

Just like 1935, Norfolk State finds itself in the midst of another set of global and national crises, and just like 1935, the University is striding ahead undaunted and resolute. NSU has found creative ways to celebrate its 85th Anniversary. Technology has allowed commemorative and celebratory events to take place virtually. President Javaune Adams-Gaston delivered a virtual Founders Day address to all segments of the University community and the Class of 2024 was officially welcomed with a virtual Freshman Convocation. 

Fun events included a week of engagement via social media in which the NSU faithful posted a series photos to their social media accounts that included wearing NSU paraphernalia, with an NSU alumnus or classmate, with a favorite faculty or staff member and sharing birthday wishes.

Norfolk State University held its first-ever virtual telethon as part of this year’s 35 Hours of Giving ChallengeThe 35 Hours of Giving Challenge held September 17-18 was coupled with a virtual telethon in which long-standing donors and scholarship recipients talked about the impact of giving to the University in interactive sessions via Zoom.

Noelle N. Cook, assistant director of annual giving, said, “The Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving is always looking for new ways to continue to engage our constituents, and COVID-19 has made it mandatory.”

“Our virtual telethon is the newest way we’re able to get our message out there to the masses, and in a unique way, while still being able to raise much needed funding for our many deserving students.”