Alabama A&M University
By Chennel Carson and Fransheli Ventura, 10th graders at Brien McMahon High School
This is day 6 of our college tour and we have arrived on the campus of Alabama A&M University. Mr. Morris Hall, an elderly silver haired gentleman, not like the other much younger guides from the previous days, greets us. His deep southern accent commands attention and his presence and communication style exudes wisdom, not to mention his stamina as he raced up the many hills on campus and encouraged us all to “keep up”.
We learned that the abbreviated A & M stands for Agricultural and Mechanical. Alabama A & M is a historically Black college and university (HBCU), non-private, state supported college that was founded in 1875 by a slave named Dr. Hooper William Council. Dr. Council became a free man and wanted to create a school for African Americans to learn, so when he became a free man after the civil war, he built a school in the same location where many slaves were sold. Each year the entire student body gathers around his burial site for a celebration of his life and the school that he founded.
The admission requirement for A&M is a GPA of 2.5; SAT score of 1290 and ACT score of 18. Between 1,600 and 2,000 freshman students are admitted per year. Tuition for out-of-state is $23,000 and for in-state it's $22,000 dollars.
Alabama A&M has the second largest campus as an HBCU following behind Howard, although other black colleges may have more students. The school colors are maroon and white and the school's mascot is a bulldog. The Louis Crews football stadium is called the “dog house” as a clever way to involve the school's mascot. We were all excited to see one of the buildings named after Carver's namesake, George Washington Carver. We did not need an education in his contributions to agriculture.
Most impressive to us is the schools graduation rate, which happens to be 85%, and also the schools atmosphere. It is a very cool school. While we were on the campus, we walked to the middle of campus where a handful of the students were on the Quad, which is an area within the college where some of the students go to hold parties and fun events for the school. It is a way for the campus to come together and somewhat ease their mind and relax with the many fun events being held there.
Alabama A&M is a D1 school for sports. The university offers free academic assistance for everyone. The school is a safe school. There is a campus curfew for this co-ed campus where males and females have separate dorms. There are also rules in place to deter students of the opposite sex from spending time in each other's dorm rooms, and if they are caught violating the rules, then there is strong punishment.
In addition to the strong academics, Alabama A&M celebrates its rich history that recognizes the struggles of the past and its effort to carry on the legacy and pride of educating young black students.