The National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund has announced that it is giving more than $650,000 in grant awards to eight Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as a part of the new HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative.This program will give the HBCUs the necessary funds and resources to protect, preserve, and leverage their individual historic campuses, buildings, and landscapes. This will ensure that these symbols of African American excellence and American achievement are preserved to inspire and educate future generations.“HBCUs are keepers of an important American legacy,” said National Trust President and CEO Paul Edmondson in a written statement, “and many of these institutions are home to important, irreplaceable historic assets that require investment to retain and adapt them for modern use. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is pleased to offer its expertise to support the exceptional commitment of these institutions to preserve their heritage for future generations. These grants will help ensure that these HBCUs are well equipped to address numerous preservation challenges and will serve as a model for further HBCU preservation.”The program, which was launched last year by the National Trust’s Action Fund, is a partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) with leadership support from the NEH, Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, J.M. Kaplan Fund, and the Executive Leadership Council. This is a $1 million initiative that offers the HBCUs the funding but it also leverages the Trust’s 70 years of experience and expertise to help in the assistance to guide the restoration and preservation process at each college or university.
“Historically Black Colleges and Universities have yielded generations of men and women who have made significant and lasting contributions to American society and to world culture,” said award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad, co-chair of the Trust’s Action Fund. “It is therefore important that these institutions are supported to endure for generations to come.”
Adam Wolfson, acting chairman of the NEH, which partnered with the Trust on this initiative, said, “The National Endowment for the Humanities is proud to help support the preservation of the historic structures and campuses that are part of the enduring legacy of our nation’s HBCUs. These institutions have played a vital role in fostering excellence, providing opportunity, and nurturing community for Black Americans. Today’s awards will help strengthen our HBCUs, allowing them to continue to educate and inspire new generations of students.”
- Benedict College (Columbia, South Carolina) to develop a stewardship plan for historic Duckett Hall (1925)
- Jackson State University (Jackson, Mississippi) to develop a campus-wide stewardship plan for its 245-acre campus
- Lane College (Jackson, Tennessee) to develop a stewardship plan for the J.K. Daniels Conference Center (1923)
- Morgan State University (Baltimore, Maryland) to develop a campus-wide stewardship plan for its 150-acre campus
- Philander Smith College (Little Rock, Arkansas) to develop a stewardship plan for the Sherman E. Tate Student Recreation Center (1936)
- Spelman College (Atlanta, Georgia) to develop a stewardship plan for the Rockefeller Fine Arts Building and Site (1964)
- Stillman College (Tuscaloosa, Alabama) to develop a stewardship plan for Winsborough Hall (1922)
- Tuskegee University (Tuskegee, Alabama) to develop a stewardship plan for Thrasher Hall (1895) and Sage Hall (1927).