Saint Augustine's College was founded in 1867, 10 blocks East of the State Capital as an outgrowth of Christian missionary work by northerners in the Reconstruction-era South. It established Raleigh as a center of educational opportunity for freedmen and over the years has graduated many of the region's most accomplished African Americans.

Affiliated with the Episcopal Church Saint Augustine's began as a normal school with a technical and trade-related program and subsequently adopted a liberal arts curriculum. The church further extended its mission by establishing St. Agnes Hospital and Training School for Nurses, to provide medical care for and by African Americans. Historically, the school also has served as an anchor of the predominantly black neighborhoods of Idlewild and College Park, which flank it.

The evolving nature of the school is reflected in its varied architecture. The campus' earliest buildings are clustered around a central, landscaped oval and near Oakwood Avenue, which runs east to west past the school. Saint Augustine's Chapel (1895) was constructed of stone in the Gothic style and is one of the oldest surviving buildings on campus. Students built the irregular T-shaped chapel of native granite under the direction of Rev. Henry Beard Delany. The chapel is a Raleigh Historic Landmark. The Romanesque Benson Library building (1896), which is now part of Taylor Hall (1902), and St. Agnes Hospital (1909) were also built from stone. The Hunter, Delany and Cheshire buildings, dating from the early 20th century, were constructed of brick in the Classical Revival style. While contemporary buildings of the school's outer grounds provide a modernist contrast, the campus core remains a tangible bequest from Saint Augustine's pioneering beginnings. Saint Augustine's Chapel and St. Agnes Hospital are designated Raleigh Historic Landmarks.

The name changed to Saint Augustine’s School in 1893 and to Saint Augustine’s Junior College in 1919, the first year in which postsecondary instruction was offered. The school became a four-year institution in 1927 and in 1928 was renamed Saint Augustine’s College. Baccalaureate degrees were first awarded in 1931.

Saint Augustine’s College was the nation’s first historically black college to have its own on-campus commercial radio and television stations (WAUG-AM 750, WAUG-TV 68, and Time Warner cable channel 10). It is also the only school in the Raleigh/Durham area to offer a degree in film production.


The Chapel at St. Augustine's College
Photo by Michael Zirkle Photography
© Raleigh Historic Development Commission




1315 Oakwood Avenue

Raleigh, NC 27610

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