Alabama A&M University continues to thrive mightily in its number of students enrolling in its Historical Black Institution. Due to the high numbers, accommodations are bursting at the seams; therefore, a renewed focus has been placed on The Hill’s student living quarters.
Named in honor of Placidia Emily Thigpen, a graduate of Hampton Institute and the University of Iowa, in 1936, became Supervisor of Education at Alabama A&M University. She was named Dean of Women at AAMU in 1944, and she served in that capacity until 1951. She remained on the faculty of A&M until her death in November 1954. Thigpen Hall housed its first group of female residents in 1953, including Mrs. Cora Gragg Redmond, AAMU Class of 1957.
Under the administration of Andrew Hugine, Jr., Ph.D., eleventh President of Alabama A&M University, deferred maintenance is being addressed. Over $44 million dollars have been expended during his ten-year presidential period. Capital improvements have included the construction of a new student residence hall, and other residence halls have received investment upgrades of more than a million dollars. Those residence halls include Councill Hall, Thigpen Hall, and Stephens Hall; as well as the structures of Carter Hall, McCalep Hall, Normal Hills, Frank Lewis Gymnasium, and the Louis Crews Physical Education Complex.
Thigpen Hall was originally built to accommodate 196 students, 3 supervisors, 1 hostess, 2 guests, and 16 faculty members. Reopening in Fall 2019, with a well-received ribbon cutting ceremony of faculty, staff, alumni, and students, it houses over 200 students, staff resident hall advisors, and student resident advisors.
Placidia Emily Thigpen was a “profound believer in tradition and symbolism … and was the epitome of dignity at all times.”
Photos by: Erica "Fox" Washington