July 1 officially begins the 2021-22 academic year, and also marks the first official day of Big South Conference membership for North Carolina A&T State University — increasing the conference to 12 full member institutions.
North Carolina A&T was first announced as a new member on Feb. 7, 2020, and gives the Big South five full members in the state of North Carolina.
The Aggies are coming off a memorable 2020-21 season with co-regular-season championships in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball and softball, as well as conference titles in women’s basketball, volleyball, men’s outdoor track & field and women’s outdoor track & field.
At last month’s NCAA Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., Cambrea Sturgis won the women’s 100m and 200m, and helped the Aggies to a fourth-place team finish. The Aggie men placed third at the national meet, while Randolph Ross Jr. won the National Championship in the 400m and later helped teammates Daniel Stokes, Akeem Sirleaf and Trevor Stewart win the 4x400m relay.
Ross and Stewart also qualified for this month’s Tokyo Olympics as part of Team USA, while Sirleaf (Liberia) and Stokes (Mexico) will also compete in the Games from July 23-August 8.
As a public, high-research activity land-grant university, North Carolina A&T is a research engine, education center and economic catalyst serving not only the state of North Carolina, but the nation. With students drawn from nearly every state in America and six continents around the world, A&T’s educational impact is as broad and deep as any university in the Southeastern United States. It is not only America’s top-rated historically black university (HBCU), but its largest for seven consecutive years, as well as its leading HBCU STEM institution. The university produces more African American engineers and agricultural scientists than any university in the nation and is home to the top public HBCU business school in the country.
A&T has grown substantially over the past decade in enrollment, in academic programming and in research capabilities, adding four new centers of excellence in the past year alone. The school’s relentless implementation of a visionary strategic plan will see it expand to an enrollment of more than 14,000 by 2023, add important facilities like the $90 million Engineering Research and Innovation Center due to open in 2021, and a new 450-bed residence hall, as well as growth in its research program through expansion of strategic partnerships with a broad range of federal agencies and private concerns.