North Carolina Central University (NCCU or NC Central), a state-supported liberal arts institution, is a public, historically black university in Durham, North Carolina. Founded by Dr. James E. Shepard in affiliation with the Chautauqua movement in 1909, it was supported by private funds from both Northern and Southern philanthropists. It was made part of the state system in 1923, when it first received state funding and was renamed as Durham State Normal School. It added graduate classes in arts and sciences and professional schools in law and library science in the late 1930s and 1940s.
In 1969 the legislature designated this as a regional university and renamed it as North Carolina Central University. It has been part of the University of North Carolina system since 1972, and offers programs at the baccalaureate, master's, professional and doctoral levels. The university is a member-school of Thurgood Marshall College Fund.