New Collection Guide for the Office of Diversity and African American Affairs Now Available

African-American Cultural Center Grand Opening Celebration program, 1992 (UA 005.014, Box 9, Folder 8)

African-American Cultural Center Grand Opening Celebration program, 1992 (UA 005.014, Box 9, Folder 8)

The Special Collections Research Center is pleased to announce that the newly updated collection guide for the Office of Diversity and African American Affairs Records is now available online.

North Carolina State University created the position of Coordinator of African American Affairs within the Office of the Provost in 1990. Dr. Augustus “Gus” Witherspoon became the first to fill this position. His responsibilities included reviewing and making recommendations for faculty promotion and tenure, coordinating college dean reviews, and serving as a liaison between the faculty and administration. The Coordinator was also responsible for University Recruitment and Retention Programs, and had a liaison role with African American faculty and staff organizations and African American student organizations. In 1991, Dr. Witherspoon established the African American Cultural Center and overseeing the programmatic activities of the Center became part of the Coordinator’s duties.

Dr. Augustus "Gus" Witherspoon, the first Coordinator of African American Affairs

By 2000 this position had become the Vice Provost for Diversity and African American Affairs. In July of 2011, as part of the University’s strategic realignment, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity was formed. The African American Cultural Center became a part of this unit. Additional information on the early history of African American affairs at North Carolina State University can be found in the book, "The Provost's Office, North Carolina State University: an Informal History, 1955-1993".

This collection contains correspondence, surveys, and reports related to discrimination and African American issues. The collection also contains information on the creation of the African American Cultural Center, including the architectural plans for Witherspoon Hall where the Center’s currently located. Also included in this collection are two plays from the Black Repertory Theatre. The Black Repertory Theatre was created to increase African American students' involvement in theater at North Carolina State University. This collection also contains a program from the 1990 Brotherhood Banquet which honored Dr. Christine Darden, one of the researchers featured in the book, "Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race".

“Black Magic!” poster featuring a show by the Black Repertory Company, 1987 (UA 005.014, Box 14, Folder 4)
“Black Magic!” poster featuring a show by the Black Repertory Company, 1987 (UA 005.014, Box 14, Folder 4)
Brief feature on Dr. Christine Darden, honoree at the University-Community Brotherhood Dinner, 1990 (UA 005.014, Box 14, Folder 11)
Brief feature on Dr. Christine Darden, honoree at the University-Community Brotherhood Dinner, 1990 (UA 005.014, Box 14, Folder 11)

For more resources regarding university history and many other topics, search our digitized collections and archival collection guides. Research questions and/or requests for materials can be sent in using the Special Collections Request Form.

Special thanks to Kristen Blake, Wykila Chavis, Laura Lethers, Angelique Marrero, Molly Pruett, Sarah Take, Rachel White, and Cathy Dorin-Black for their work on this collection.