Welcome to

Tuskegee University

In 1880, a bill that included a yearly appropriation of $2,000 was passed by the Alabama State Legislature to establish a school for Blacks in Macon County. Lewis Adams, a former slave, and George W. Campbell, a former slave owner, generated this action. On February 12, 1881, Gov. Rufus Willis Cobb signed the bill into law, establishing the Tuskegee Normal School for the training of Black Teachers. Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute principal, Samuel Chapman Armstrong, recommended Booker T. Washington as Tuskegee’s principal. When Washington arrived, he found that there was no land or buildings for the school. The school opened July 4, 1881, in a shanty loaned by Butler Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church. With money borrowed from Hampton Institute’s treasurer, Washington later purchased an abandoned 100-acre plantation on the outskirts of the City of Tuskegee.

Students built a kiln, made bricks for buildings and sold bricks to raise money. Within a few years, they built a classroom building, a dining hall, a girl’s dormitory, and a chapel. By Tuskegee’s 25th anniversary, the school had transformed into a 2,000-acre campus with 83 buildings. Today, the university’s physical facilities include more than 5,000 acres of forestry and a campus on which sits  more than 100 major buildings.