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Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville State University (JSU) is a public university in Jacksonville, Alabama. Founded in 1883, Jacksonville State offers programs of study in five academic units leading to bachelor's, master's, education specialist, and doctorate degrees in addition to continuing and distance education programs. In the Fall semester of 2011, JSU began offering the school's first doctoral degree, Doctor of Science in Emergency Management.[3]

Jacksonville State University
Jacksonville State University seal.png
Former names
Jacksonville State Normal School (1883–1930)
Jacksonville State Teachers College (1930–1957)
Jacksonville State College (1957–1966)
MottoThe friendliest campus in the South.
Endowment$12.59 million[1]
PresidentDr. Don Killingsworth (Acting)
ProvostDr. Christie Shelton
Academic staff
Students8,567 (Fall 2017)
Undergraduates7,491 (Fall 2017)
Postgraduates1,076 (Fall 2017)
Location, ,
United States

33°49′19″N 85°45′58″W / 33.822°N 85.766°W / 33.822; -85.766Coordinates: 33°49′19″N 85°45′58″W / 33.822°N 85.766°W / 33.822; -85.766
CampusSuburban (small city)
ColorsRed and White[2]
Jacksonville State University logo.svg

The university was founded as Jacksonville State Normal School, and in 1930 the name changed to Jacksonville State Teachers College, and again in 1957 to Jacksonville State College. The university began operating as Jacksonville State University in 1966.

JSU currently has an enrollment of about 8,500 students, with nearly 500 faculty members (more than 320 of whom are full-time). Jacksonville State's Business School was ranked within the nation's 90th percentile by the Princeton Review. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). In addition, 40 academic programs (79% of programs that can be accredited) earned specialized programmatic accreditations. These programs include business, education, applied engineering, nursing, social work, drama, art, music, computer science, family and consumer science, and communication.

Administration and organizationEdit

Jacksonville State is administered by the President of Jacksonville State, Don Killlingsworth and the Jacksonville State Board of Trustees. Members of the board are appointed to set the policies of the university, and appoint senior management personnel. Under the doctrine of collective responsibility, the entire board is liable for the financial and other consequences of the organization's activities. The President of Jacksonville State has authority Jacksonville State where the president sees over the administrative direction of Jacksonville State University. The president oversees the work of the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, the Athletic Director, the Vice President of Administration and Business Affairs, the Vice President of University Advancement, the Vice President of Information and Technology, and the Executive Director of Planning and Research. The president also oversees each vice president and director's subordinates as well.

Academic organizationEdit

Wallace Hall, home to the JSU nursing program.

Through Jacksonville State's six academic schools, Jacksonville State offers career-centered programs to prepare for certain workforces. Offices such as Academic Affairs, Graduate Studies, International House and Programs, Distance Education, Tutoring, Off-Campus Programs and Sites, Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Academic Center for Excellence, the University Library, and others help students through the courses of the four academic colleges.

  • School of Arts and Humanities
  • School of Business and Industry
  • School of Education
  • School of Nursing and Health Professions
  • School of Human Services and Social Sciences
  • School of Science

Main and satellite campusesEdit

Main campusEdit

The JSU main campus has a 459-acre (1.9 km2) campus with 59 buildings in the Appalachian foothills of northeast Alabama. With this campus being the flagship campus for Jacksonville State, it offers large educational facilities, university housing and residence, on-campus dining, student centers, Greek housing, athletic facilities, student health and wellness facilities, administration offices, study centers, an international housing program, and an on-campus bookstore. The majority of students who study at Jacksonville State attend courses here.

Little River Canyon Center campusEdit

The Little River Canyon Center campus opened to the public in 2009, and is a Jacksonville State University building located in Fort Payne, Alabama that adjoins the Little River Canyon National Preserve. A portion is leased to the National Park Service and the staff of the Little River Canyon National Preserve with a facility that features a Grand Hall, HD movie theater, gift shop, natural history library, exhibits, classrooms, back deck, outdoor amphitheater and trails for both education and adventure.[4]

McClellan campusEdit

The Jacksonville State University Higher Education Consortium was established in 2003, and it houses two state schools: Jacksonville State University–McClellan Center, and Gadsden State Community College–McClellan Campus. Since 2005, the McClellan Center Building 3181 has been home to the Institute of Emergency Preparedness, In-Service, and the Northeast Alabama Police Academy. GSCC houses the traditional college students. Their EMS and 911 programs, in addition to the core classes of English, math, etc., are also housed in the building.[5]


In the fall of 2010 enrollment peaked at 9,504 students throughout the system, but this number fell slightly because the number of incoming freshman could not keep up with the number of graduating seniors. As of the Fall semester of 2017, the total number of students within the Jacksonville State system is 8,567. The total of undergraduates total to 7,591 students while the total of graduates amount to 1,076 students.[6]

Campus eventsEdit

On January 1, 2012, the school's marching band and dance team, The Southerners and the Marching Ballerinas,[7] led the New Year's Day Parade in London, England, which also kicked off the year-long celebration of both Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 London Summer Olympics.[8] The invitation to lead the parade came in September 2010, just as the Southerners learned that they had been awarded the nationally recognized George Washington Honor Medal for their patriotic 2009 show, "Of Thee I Sing."

In spring 2008, the website ranked the Master of Science in Computer Systems and Software Design as second on its list of "best buys" among 67 online master's programs in computer science and information technology offered by regionally accredited institutions in the United States.[9] In spring 2010, they followed this with a third-place ranking for JSU's online nursing master's program[10] and a sixth-place ranking for the online nursing bachelor's degree.[11]

In October 2007, the College of Commerce and Business Administration was named one of the 290 best business schools in the world by The Princeton Review and ranked second in providing the greatest opportunities for women.

In 2007, the school broke ground for the 25,000 square feet (2,300 m2) Little River Canyon Center. The building houses National Park Service offices, an exhibit hall, meeting space, classrooms, and comfort stations and is the site of the JSU Little River Canyon Field School, which sponsors dozens of activities, seminars and programs each year. In 1992, the canyon was designated a national preserve. During the summer months, the staff includes 15 park rangers.

In February 2006, Jacksonville State University was named the "winner" of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) Speech Code of the Month.[12] At the time, FIRE called the University Code of Conduct "illegally overbroad." They considered the code to be in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution which protects offensive speech. The policy has since been changed.

In 2001, placekicker Ashley Martin became the first woman to score in an NCAA football game, kicking three extra points in the Gamecocks' 72–10 victory over Cumberland University.


Jacksonville State's athletics teams are nicknamed the Gamecocks. The school is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference in Division I FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) in football, formerly I-AA, of the NCAA. The university's football team gained national attention in 2001 when Junior placekicker Ashley Martin became the first female football player to score a point in a Division I game tallying 3 points against Cumberland University.

The school fields varsity teams in 14 sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, cross country, football, men's and women's golf, rifle, women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, women's track and field, and volleyball. The football team plays in 25,000-seat Burgess-Snow Field. The men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams play in Pete Mathews Coliseum. Prior to the 1993–94 academic year, Jacksonville State competed in NCAA Division II athletics, winning national championships in men's basketball (1985), baseball (1990 and 1991), football (1992) and gymnastics (1984 and 1985).


Jacksonville State University sponsors one co-ed, six men's, and ten women's teams in NCAA sanctioned sports:[13]


The Jacksonville State Gamecocks football program is the intercollegiate American football team for Jacksonville State University. The team competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and are members of the Ohio Valley Conference. Jacksonville State's first football team was fielded in 1904. The team plays its home games at the 24,000 seat Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium in Jacksonville, Alabama. The Gamecocks are coached by John Grass. Under the direction of head coach John Grass in 2014, the Gamecocks went 10–2 overall, won the Ohio Valley Conference outright, and received an automatic bid in the NCAA FCS Playoffs.


The Jacksonville State Gamecocks baseball team is a varsity intercollegiate athletic team of Jacksonville State University. The team is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, which is part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I. The team plays its home games at Rudy Abbott Field in Jacksonville, Alabama. The Gamecocks are coached by Jim Case. During the 2013–2014 campaign, the Gamecocks won the OVC championship and received an automatic bid for the annual NCAA regional tournament.


The Jacksonville State Gamecocks men's basketball team is the men's basketball team that represents Jacksonville State University. The school's team currently competes in the Ohio Valley Conference. During the 2016–2017 season, the Gamecocks won the OVC championship and received their first NCAA tournament bid under the direction of head coach, Ray Harper.

Women's basketballEdit

The Jacksonville State Gamecocks women's basketball team is the women's basketball team that represents Jacksonville State University. The team currently competes in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Gamecocks are coached by Rick Pietri.


The Jacksonville State Gamecocks softball team represents Jacksonville State University in NCAA Division I college softball. The team participates in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC). The Gamecocks are currently led by head coach Jana McGinnis. The team plays its home games at University Field located on the university's campus.

The Marching SouthernersEdit

Jacksonville State University's marching band, The Marching Southerners, was founded in 1956 by John Finley. He also conceived the band's precision dance line, The Marching Ballerinas.[14]

Dr. David L. Walters, for whom JSU's music department is named, served as band director from 1961 to 1991 and is credited with bringing the Marching Southerners to national prominence.[15]

Under the direction of Dr. Kenneth G. Bodiford, the Marching Southerners feature a corps marching style, the Marching Ballerinas, and the famous 20J's. Many of the 450+ member marching band are also members of Drum Corps International during the summer.[7]

2012 London New Year's Day Parade

The Marching Southerners were given the honor of leading the 2012 London New Year's Day Parade, which also celebrated the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.[16]

Greek lifeEdit

With hundreds of students, comprising over ten percent of the undergraduate student body, JSU is home to 17 social and 22 total Greek-letter organizations. The Greek community at JSU donates over 10,000 hours and over $100,000 annually to the local community and national charities in philanthropy work. Greek students who hold executive positions within Greek Life also have a cumulative overall 3.0 GPA, ranking as one of the highest in the nation among Greek-supporting schools. In the 2017-2018 school year, every Student Government Association Executive Officer was also a member of a Greek organization along with over 60% of the SGA Student Senate. The Dean of Students Office advises and provides guidance to the fraternities and sororities associated with the three Greek Governing Councils: Interfraternity Council (IFC), the National Panhellenic Council (NPC), and the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

Chapter name, their year founded, and other information are in parentheses


Panhellenic Council (NPC) Sororities:

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Sororities:


Interfraternity Council (IFC) Fraternities:

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Fraternities:

Other Greek organizationsEdit

Notable alumniEdit

2018 tornadoEdit

On the evening of March 19, 2018, an EF-3 tornado struck the campus of Jacksonville State University, causing minor to severe damage to every building.[17] It was the first day of spring break for both the university and the Jacksonville City School System. Classes resumed at the university on April 9, 2018, and the spring commencement ceremony was held on May 4, 2018, as scheduled, but moved to JSU Stadium from Pete Mathews Coliseum (which was closed due to tornado damage). [18] There were four injuries among city residents and no fatalities.[19] More than $42 million in property damage was inflicted on the university and on April 27, 2018, President Donald Trump declared the event a federal disaster.[20] The university continued its summer semester as planned, and President John Beehler stated all subsequent semesters will continue as normal.[21]


  1. ^ "Jacksonville State University". Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  2. ^ Jacksonville State University Style Guide & Identification Standards Manual (PDF). Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  3. ^ "Doctoral degrees". Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
  4. ^ "Little River Canyon Center – Environmental Policy and Information Center (EPIC) – Jacksonville State University". Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  5. ^ "JSU – JSU McClellan Center – Home". Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  6. ^ "JSU | Discover JSU | JSU at a Glance". Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Welcome – JSU Marching Southerners". Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  8. ^ "Southerners in London". Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  9. ^ "Top 29 Ranked Best Buys Online Graduate Degrees Computer Science & Information Technology". Retrieved May 7, 2009.
  10. ^ "Online Masters in Nursing – Affordable Online Degrees – Best Online Colleges". Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  11. ^ "Online BSN – Affordable Online Degrees – Best Online Colleges". Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  12. ^ Harris, Samantha. "Speech Code of the Month: Jacksonville State University". FIRE. Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  13. ^ "2015 Fan Day – August 29". Retrieved August 17, 2015.
  14. ^ Southerners founder remembered as Jacksonville State starts band camp, by Seth Boster, The Anniston Star, August 13, 2015, accessed August 14, 2016
  15. ^ David Walters, Longtime Leader of JSU Bands, Dies at 92, by Seth Boster, The Anniston Star, December 30, 2015, accessed August 14, 2016
  16. ^ "Marching to London". Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  17. ^ "We are JSU Strong | Jacksonville State University". Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  18. ^ "Jacksonville State University | Academic Options for Completing the Spring Semester". Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  19. ^ Service, US Department of Commerce, NOAA, National Weather. "Jacksonville Tornado - March 19, 2018". Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  20. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Approves Alabama Disaster Declaration |". Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  21. ^ "Jacksonville State University | President Beehler Welcomes Students and Employees Back to Campus". Retrieved May 15, 2018.

External linksEdit