In 1904, Atlanta University graduate James Weldon Johnson wrote what is called the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.” That same year, he received an honorary Masters degree. Other notable alumni include activist Ralph David Abernathy, W.E.B. Dubois, Whitney Young, Jr. and Henry O. Tanner serving as faculty. It was through Professor Dubois that the university became affiliated with the NAACP.
Since its joint venture of education, Clark Atlanta University has had three presidents.