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Clark Atlanta University

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Coordinates: 33°45′3″N 84°24′37″W / 33.75083°N 84.41028°W / 33.75083; -84.41028

Clark Atlanta University
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Motto"I'll Find a Way or Make One" (Atlanta University); "Culture for Service" (Clark College)[1]
TypePrivate, HBCU[2]
EstablishedSeptember 19, 1865
AffiliationUnited Methodist Church
Endowment$69 million[3]
PresidentGeorge T. French, Jr., Ph.D.[4]
Students3,920 (Fall 2019)[5]
Location, ,
United States
CampusUrban, 126 acres (0.5 km2)
NewspaperThe CAU Panther
Colors               Red, Black, Gray [6]
AthleticsNCAA Division II[7]
NicknamePanthers[7]
AffiliationsSouthern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference[7]
Websitewww.cau.edu
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Clark Atlanta University is a private Methodist historically black university in Atlanta, Georgia. Clark Atlanta University is the first HBCU in the Southern United States. Clark College (founded in 1869) and Atlanta University (founded in 1865) consolidated in 1988.

History[edit source | edit]

CAU's history at a glance
1865 Atlanta University founded
1869 Clark University founded
1929 Atlanta University Center established
1940 Clark University renamed Clark College
1988 Atlanta University & Clark College consolidated, renamed Clark Atlanta University.

Clark Atlanta University was formed by the consolidation of Atlanta University, the nations first HBCU in the South, and the nations first institution to award graduate degrees to African Americans, and Clark College, the nations first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African-American student population.

An African American student art exhibition at Atlanta University in the mid-20th century
"Four African American women seated on steps of building at Atlanta University, Georgia", ca. 1900

Atlanta University was founded September 19, 1865[8] by the American Missionary Association, with later assistance from the Freedmen's Bureau. Atlanta University was the first HBCU in the Southern United States, and the nation's oldest graduate institution serving a predominantly African-American student body. Atlanta University was established September 19, 1865; chartered October 17, 1867;[9] offered first instruction at postsecondary level 1869; first graduating class 1873, (normal school for future teachers including women); awarded its first six degrees (baccalaureate) June 1876[10]. One woman earned a bachelors degree from Atlanta University between 1876 and 1895. Seven women received bachelor's degrees from Atlanta University between 1895 - 1900.[11] In 1929–30, it began offering graduate education exclusively in various liberal arts areas, and in the social and natural forensics. It gradually added professional programs in social work, library science, and business administration. At this same time, Atlanta University affiliated with Morehouse College and Spelman College in a university plan known as the Atlanta University Center.

The campus was moved to its present site, and the modern organization of the Atlanta University Center emerged, with Clark College, Morris Brown College, and the Interdenominational Theological Center joining the affiliation later. The story of the Atlanta University over the next twenty years from 1930 includes many significant developments. Graduate Schools of Library Science, Education, and Business Administration were established in 1941, 1944, and 1946, respectively. The Atlanta School of Social Work, long associated with the university, gave up its charter in 1947 to become an integral part of the university. In 1957, the controlling Boards of the six institutions (Atlanta University; Clark, Morehouse, Morris Brown and Spelman Colleges; and Gammon Theological Seminary) ratified new Articles of Affiliation. The new contract created the Atlanta University Center. The influence of Atlanta University has been extended through professional journals and organizations, including Phylon, and through the work of Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois, a member of the center.

Clark College[edit source | edit]

Clark University the nations first four-year liberal arts college to serve the African-American student population. Founded in 1869 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, which later became the United Methodist Church. Clark University was chartered and incorporated in 1877; offered first instructional at postsecondary level in 1879; awarded first degree (baccalaureate) 1880; became Clark College 1940.[12] It was named for Bishop Davis Wasgatt Clark, who was the first President of the Freedman's Aid Society and became Bishop in 1864. A sparsely furnished room in Clark Chapel, a Methodist Episcopal church in Atlanta's Summerhill section, housed the first Clark College class. In 1871, the school relocated to a new site on the newly purchased Whitehall and McDaniel Street property. In 1877, the School was chartered as Clark University.

An early benefactor, Bishop Gilbert Haven, visualized Clark as the "university" of all the Methodist schools founded for the education of freedmen. After the school had changed locations several times, Bishop Haven, who succeeded Bishop Clark, was instrumental in acquiring 450 acres (1.8 km2) in South Atlanta, where in 1880 the school conferred its first degree. (The university relocated in 1883.) Also in 1883, Clark established a theology department. Named for Dr. Elijah H. Gammon, the Gammon School of Theology in 1888 became an independent theological seminary. It is part of the Interdenominational Theological Center.

Campus[edit source | edit]

Bust of W.E.B. DuBois by Ayokunle Odeleye at Clark Atlanta University

Clark Atlanta University's main campus houses 37 buildings (including an art museum) on 126 acres (0.5 km2) and is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from downtown Atlanta.

Residential facilities[edit source | edit]

  • Pfeiffer Hall
  • Holmes Hall
  • Merner Hall
  • Beckwith Hall
  • Residential Apartments – now called "James P. Brawley Hall" when the original James P. Brawley Hall was demolished in 2007
  • Heritage Commons
  • CAU Suites East / West

All undergraduate students with under 58 credits hours are required to live on campus.[13]

Academics[edit source | edit]

Template:Infobox US university ranking Clark Atlanta offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through the following schools:

  • School of Arts & Science
  • School of Business
  • School of Education
  • School of Social Work

Clark Atlanta is the most comprehensive institution in the Atlanta University Center offering over 40 degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

Oglethorpe Hall

The Isabella T. Jenkins Honors Program is a highly selective academic program established to provide a close-knit and uniquely stimulating community for high-achieving undergraduates at Clark Atlanta University.[14]

Clark Atlanta is annually ranked on the list of The Washington Monthly "Best Colleges and Universities" and consistently ranked a top 20 HBCU by US News & World Report (No. 13).[15]

Clark Atlanta's social work graduate program consistently ranks among the 100 best in the nation by US News & World Report.[16]

Clark Atlanta's Center for Functional Nanoscale Measures (CFNM) has produced more black Ph.D.s in Nanoscale Science than any HBCU in the nation.[17]

Student life[edit source | edit]

Student body[edit source | edit]

Annually between 25-30% of students are Georgia residents, while the remaining come from outside Georgia. Approximately 20% of students are male and 80% are female. In 2018, 89% of students identified as African-American/Black, 7% identified as Other/Unknown, and 4% identified as International.[18]

CAU Experience[edit source | edit]

All new undergraduate students are required to attend "CAU Experience", which is five days of events orchestrated to help them get better acquainted with the legacy, traditions, culture, and community of Clark Atlanta University. The preeminent scheduled event of "CAU Experience" is the formal induction ceremony where new undergraduate students are officially inducted as Clarkites. "CAU Experience" is mostly led by enthusiastic and trained student leaders known as "OGs" which is an abbreviation for Orientation Guides.[19]

Athletics[edit source | edit]

Clark Atlanta University, known athletically as the Panthers, competes within the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Division II. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball.

Marching band[edit source | edit]

The university's marching band is known as the Mighty Marching Panther Band. "Essence" is the dance-line featured with the marching band. The band was featured in the 2002 movie Drumline.

National fraternities and sororities[edit source | edit]

All nine of the National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations have chapters established at Clark Atlanta University. Other Greek letter organizations registered on campus include Sigma Alpha Iota, Gamma Sigma Sigma, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Tau Beta Sigma and Gamma Phi Delta.

National Pan-Hellenic Council[edit source | edit]

Two percent of undergraduate men and three percent of undergraduate women are active in CAU's National Pan-Hellenic Council.[20]

Organization Chapter Founded Status Notes
Alpha Phi Alpha Alpha Phi (ΑΦ) January 28, 1927 Active Five-Time International Chapter of the Year
Alpha Kappa Alpha Alpha Pi (ΑΠ) May 21, 1930 Active First undergraduate chapter chartered in South Atlantic Region
Kappa Alpha Psi Gamma Kappa (ΓΚ) November 23, 1948 Inactive The chapter is under an involuntary "cease and desist" order
Omega Psi Phi Beta Psi (ΒΨ) December 22, 1923 Active First fraternity chartered on the campus of Clark College
Delta Sigma Theta Sigma (Σ) May 6, 1931 Active First and oldest chapter in the South
Phi Beta Sigma Psi (Ψ) December 27, 1935 Active
Zeta Phi Beta Psi (Ψ) January 17, 1931 Active
Sigma Gamma Rho Phi (Φ) 1937 Active
Iota Phi Theta Epsilon Beta (ΕΒ) 2000 Active

Student media[edit source | edit]

The CAU Panther[edit source | edit]

The CAU Panther is the student newspaper.

CAU-TV[edit source | edit]

CAU-TV is a public access channel licensed by Comcast to the university.

WSTU[edit source | edit]

WSTU is the CAU student-run internet radio station.

WCLK[edit source | edit]

CAU operates WCLK (91.9 FM), Atlanta’s only jazz radio station and one of the longest running in the world.

Notable alumni[edit source | edit]

This is a list of notable alumni which includes graduates, non-graduate former students, and current students of Atlanta University, Clark College, Clark University, and/or Clark Atlanta University. It does not include other notable persons who may have attended Clark Atlanta University as cross-registered students (credit as an alumnus is not given to Clark Atlanta University, which has spurred controversy over the school's cross-registration policies). Template:AlumniStart

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Notable faculty[edit source | edit]

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See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

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  5. https://www.cau.edu/opar/2017-2019-Fall-Enrollment-Report_Census-9302019.pdf
  6. "Logo Information". Clark Atlanta University. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
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  17. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  18. https://www.cau.edu/opar/institutional-research/Fact-Book-FINAL-2014-2018.pdf
  19. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
  20. https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/clark-atlanta-university-1551/student-life
  21. Lua error in ...ribunto/includes/engines/LuaCommon/lualib/mwInit.lua at line 23: bad argument #1 to 'old_ipairs' (table expected, got nil).
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Further reading[edit source | edit]

External links[edit source | edit]