Mississippi Valley State University

Mississippi Valley State University is one of three state public historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) in the State of Mississippi. The state legislature passed laws to establish MVSU – then called “Mississippi Vocational College”- in 1946. The goal of the college was to train teachers for rural and elementary schools and to provide vocational training.

The college, the eighth of Mississippi’s institutions of higher learning, opened in the summer of 1950. The first full academic year, 1950-51, began with fourteen regular students and seven faculty members. The college offered the Bachelor of Science degree in fourteen areas and provided Extension Services.

In 1964, the name was changed to Mississippi Valley State College and began offering liberal arts, science, and education degrees. In 1974, the college was granted the status of being a “university.” MVSU started its graduate program in 1976.


Parker, Frank. Black Votes Count: Political Empowerment in Mississippi After 1965.

Payne, Charles. I’ve Got the Light of Freedom.