Norfolk State University was founded in 1935. The college, brought to life in the midst of the Great Depression, provided a setting in which the youth of the region could give expression to their hopes and aspirations. At its founding, it was named the Norfolk Unit of Virginia Union University. In 1942, the college became the independent Norfolk Polytechnic College, and two years later an Act of the Virginia Legislature mandated that it become a part of Virginia State College.
The College was able to pursue an expanded mission with even greater emphasis in 1956 when another Act of the Legislature enabled the institution to offer its first baccalaureate degree. The college separated from Virginia State College and became fully independent in 1969. Subsequent legislative acts designated the institution as a university in 1979 and authorized the granting of graduate degrees.
Mission Statement - Through exemplary teaching, scholarship, and outreach, Norfolk State University transforms lives and communities by empowering individuals to maximize their potential, creating life-long learners equipped to be engaged leaders and productive global citizens.
Vision Statement - Norfolk State University will be recognized nationally for its outstanding academic programs, innovative research, scholarship, and global outreach, advancing the transformative power of education to change lives and communities.
Equal Opportunity Statement - Norfolk State University does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities in admission to, participation in, or receipt of the services and benefits under any of its programs and activities, whether carried out directly or through a third-party, or any other entity with which Norfolk State University arranges to carry out its programs and activities.