Tuskegee University is the second-oldest historically black college in Alabama and one of the largest in the United States. Founded in 1881 as the Normal School for Colored Teachers at Tuskegee, the school quickly became a driving force in the developing industrial education movement under the leadership of noted educator Booker T. Washington, its first president. In its early decades, Tuskegee Institute made significant contributions to agriculture and improving the lives of rural black farmers.
Tuskegee has played an integral role in Alabama history and education. It pioneered the Movable School, served as the training ground for the Tuskegee Airmen, and students and faculty were heavily involved in the civil rights movement. In addition to its many notable alumni and academic developments, it was the first HBCU to have a marching band. Tuskegee University was recently ranked as the top black college in Alabama and the sixth nationally.