A Brief History of Norfolk State University
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.