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Winston-Salem State University Quick Facts

WSSU Department of Athletics Philosophy

Winston-Salem State University’s department of athletics offers a comprehensive intercollegiate athletic program for all students fielding teams in men's and women's basketball, men’s and women’s cross country,  women’s track & field, football, women’s tennis,  volleyball, softball, and men's golf. Varsity and junior varsity cheerleading also function within the department as athletic teams.  The program currently operates within the rules and regulations of Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and is a member of the Central Intercollegiate Association (CIAA).  Approximately 275 student-athletes will compete in team sporting events throughout the 2021-22 academic year.

The philosophy of the program is based upon the University's mission: “to offer high-quality education programs as the baccalaureate and master’s level for a diverse student population…While the primary focus is on teaching and learning, the university encourages scholarship and creative activities by faculty and students and engages in mutually beneficial relationships with the community in ways which complement its educational mission.”

Winston-Salem State University’s Department of athletics believes that a well-rounded, highly competitive intercollegiate athletics program is an integral part of the total educational experience for student-athletes.  The department offers all support needed to develop each student-athlete to his or her fullest potential without compromising the basic academic objectives of the university.  The department adheres to the concept of equal opportunity and strives to provide a full collegiate experience for its student-athletes.

Department of Athletics Mission Statement

The role of intercollegiate athletics at Winston-Salem State University is to provide an environment that will allow all student-athletes to reach nationally recognized excellence, both academically and athletically.  Athletics is a vital part of the university experience and benefits the university by providing visibility and a positive public image.

Four Pillars of WSSU Athletics 

Academic Excellence

Athletic Success

Program Self Sufficiency

Community Engagement

Recognize Academic Success

70% Graduation Rate

3.0 Departmental GPA

95% Retention Rate

15% of graduates attending graduate school

Win CIAA Championships

Claim the C.H Williams and Loretta Taylor All-Sports Award

Successfully Compete on the Regional Level

National Recognition

Operate within a Balance Budget

Prudent Spending

Creative Fundraising Tactics

Engage Former Student-Athletes and Alumni

3,000 Hours Community Service

Bridge the Disconnect Between Students and Athletics

Make Better Use of Technology


Location: Winston-Salem, N.C.

Enrollment: 5, 169

Founded: 1892

Motto: “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve.”

Athletic Motto: “Graduating Champions”

Theme: “We See Red”

Chancellor: Elwood L. Robinson, Ph.D.

Director of Athletics: Etienne Thomas

Athletics Department Phone: (336) 750-2141

Athletics Department Fax: (336) 750-8880

Colors: Red & White

Team Name: Rams

Affiliation: NCAA Division II

Conference: Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA)

Bowman-Gray Stadium (sport/seating): Football/15,000

Whitaker Gymnasium (sport/seating): Volleyball/875

C.E. Gaines Center (sport(s)/seating): Men’s Basketball & Women’s Basketball/2,500

Men’s Varsity Sports (4): Football, Golf, Cross Country, and Basketball

Women’s Varsity Sports (6): Basketball, Cross Country, Track & Field (indoor & outdoor), Tennis, Softball, and Volleyball

Co-Ed: Cheerleading


"As We Go Forth"

Words and Music by Noah F. Ryder

Arrangement by D.S. Burke


As we go forth from Old State U.,  
A song of love we sing to thee
And praises to thy memory
Of days at State University

Thy sons and daughters bring thee fame
Through knowledge which we here have gained
Exultingly we praise thy name,
Oh Winston-Salem State University

As we go forth from Old State U.,
Good leaders, we will always be
And stand for all humanity
As you have taught us State University  

In all we do we shall proclaim
To all the world the enduring fame
As we go forth we praise thy name

Oh Winston-Salem State University