Located in the historic Hayti neighborhood on the eastern side of Durham, NCCU is home to an art museum, biomanufacturing and biomedical research institutes, an award-winning marching band, and fifteen athletic squads which compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. It is an integral part of Durham’s proud history as the nation's first public liberal arts college for African Americans.
NCCU was founded by Dr. James E. Shepard as the National Religious Training School and Chautauqua for the Colored Race in 1909. In 1925 it became the first state-supported liberal arts college for African Americans in the country, and in 1972 it joined the University of North Carolina System. The school carries that proud heritage today, working to train socially responsible leaders in a diverse society.