North Carolina Central University, a state-supported liberal arts institution, was chartered in 1909 as a private institution and opened to students on July 5, 1910. It was founded by Dr. James E. Shepard. From the beginning, when it was known as the National Religious Training School and Chautauqua for the Colored Race, its purpose has been the development in young men and women of the character and sound academic training requisite for real service to the nation. To this end, the training of all students has been entrusted to the most capable teachers available.
The mission of the university is to prepare students academically and professionally to become leaders prepared to advance the consciousness of social responsibility in a diverse, global society. The university will serve its traditional clientele of African-American students; it will also expand its commitment to meet the educational needs of a student body that is diverse in race and other socioeconomic qualities.
Teaching, supported by research, is the primary focus of the university. As a part of that focus, the university encourages its faculty to pursue intellectual development and rewards effective teaching and research. The university recognizes the mutually reinforcing impact of scholarship and service on effective teaching and learning. NCCU therefore encourages and expects faculty and students to engage in scholarly, creative and service activities that benefit the community.