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The ShawU District

How does The ShawU District Honor the Past?

  • For more than 157 years, Shaw University has led the way as a pioneering institution for students with limited access to higher education and has paved the way to upward mobility for generations of students from traditionally underserved communities.

  • Rezoning for The ShawU District will honor that legacy, attract and retain new students, better equip faculty & staff, improve facilities, attract investments, and increase the university’s overall value to current students, alumni, and community partners.

  • By maintaining ownership of the property, controlling the development, and remaining in its current location, The ShawU District business model allows additional funding and resources derived from development partnerships to strengthen the University and its ability to reinvest in its students, infrastructure, and the overall campus community.

  • In homage to the rich history of Shaw University, more than $2 million has already been pursued and secured to preserve several historic buildings and structures on campus (i.e., Estey, Tupper, Tyler, and Leonard Halls), which represent iconic cornerstones of the campus and its contributions to the community.


What is The ShawU District, and when will it begin?

  • STEP 1 – REZONING REQUEST: Situated on 27 acres adjacent to the heart of Downtown Raleigh on our main campus, The ShawU District rezoning request is a first step toward taking a comprehensive look at the university campus as a whole, to determine how best to preserve our historic properties and reimagine existing university facilities to attract students, faculty, staff; diversify revenue streams beyond tuition dollars; and weave the university more tightly into the fabric of the Downtown Raleigh community.

  • The planning process to request rezoning began in earnest in 2019 and continued in 2022, with a series of community outreach meetings on campus to solicit input and invite suggestions on how best to reimagine the possibilities for the main campus and its current facilities and amenities.

  • The ShawU District Rezoning Request aligns with the realities of exponential growth and expansion in the Downtown Raleigh area. To position the University for long-term and sustainable growth, Shaw will negotiate with potential partners from a position of ownership and strength to modernize the campus – onward and upward!

  • Set in Downtown Raleigh, The ShawU District will be a place to live, learn, work, eat, and thrive. Its potential development represents an opportunity for us to maintain our presence in the community and leverage the existing infrastructure of Shaw University, along with private and public investment, into a 21st century model of economic excellence and a powerhouse for good.


What is a Campus Master Plan?

  • The Campus Master Plan, based on the University’s mission and strategic plan, indicates where buildings, open spaces, circulation systems, utilities, and other elements of the campus environment will be located.

  • The Campus Master Plan includes an implementation strategy that drives cost and funding analyses, architectural programming, and design, renovation & construction of buildings and other facilities, as well as the detailed planning and preservation of important open spaces and other physical resources.

What are The ShawU District Mission & Vision Statements?

Mission Statement:

“The ShawU District is the newest destination in Downtown Raleigh that will serve as a model for reimagining the future of higher education, celebrating Black culture, promoting entrepreneurship, providing employment, and creating a vibrant, mixed-use urban living community that will transform the lives of everyone who comes here. By recruiting partners and planning for the future, the possibilities for Shaw University are limitless.”

Vision Statement:

“The ShawU District – owned and controlled by the University – envisions and reimagines the campus and its facilities to model a new era of HBCU innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship for students. By leveraging our legacy and maximizing our potential, Shaw University will empower and equip new generations of learners and leaders, while deepening our roots and securing our future as an anchor in Downtown Raleigh.” 


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