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Virginia State University was originally founded as Virginia Normal and Industrial Institute in 1923. It was renamed Virginia State College for Negroes in 1930, and named Virginia State College in 1946. In 1979, it received its present name, Virginia State University.
Notable alumni include, Reginald Lewis, businessman and owner of TLC Beatrice International; William H. Lewis, Former United States Assistant Attorney General; Deshauna Barber, Miss USA 2016; and many more.