Rep. Sewell Announces $2.5 Million to Preserve Alabama HBCUs
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) announced that the National Park Service (NPS) will award $2.5 million to five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Alabama. The funding will be used to preserve historic structures on the campuses of Alabama State University, Miles College, Selma University, Alabama A&M University, and Stillman College. Each year, Sewell leads the congressional effort to increase funding for the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) to preserve Civil Rights sites and HBCU campuses. Sewell proudly serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional HBCU Caucus.
The following Alabama HBCUs will receive funding:
- Alabama State University - $500,000 for the G.W. Trenholm Hall Preservation Project
- Miles College - $500,000 for the Williams Hall Historic Preservation Project
- Selma University - $500,000 to preserve the Historic Dinkins Memorial Hall
- Alabama A&M University - $500,000 for restoration and renovation of Carnegie Hall Library
- Stillman College - $500,000 to transform Sheppard Library into a Civil Rights museum
“I’m thrilled to announce that the National Park Service is investing $2.5 million to preserve historic structures on the campuses of Alabama’s HBCUs. This is a big win for Alabama!” said Rep. Sewell. “Alabama’s HBCUs have played such a pivotal role in shaping the history of our nation, and I was so proud to help make this funding available which will be used to preserve these cherished institutions. As Vice Chair of the Congressional HBCU Caucus, I remain committed to ensuring the vitality of Alabama’s HBCUs. Fighting for funding like this will continue to be one of my top legislative priorities!”
“On behalf of everyone at Selma University, we are elated to receive the grant award,” said Selma University President Stanford E. Angion, Ed.D. “We are so appreciative of Congresswoman Sewell’s support of the university. This funding will go a long way in helping our students at Selma University and the entire community of Selma, Alabama.”
"Stillman College sits on the 105-acre former Cochran plantation that housed 71 slaves,” said Stillman College President Dr. Cynthia Warrick. “This grant will make a major impact for the restoration of Sheppard Library, especially its columns and capitals imported from Italy from the Cochran plantation house. We continue to be grateful for Congresswoman Sewell's unwavering support of Stillman College and all HBCUs in the District."
“For more than 180 years, Historically Black Colleges and Universities have provided high-level academics, opportunities, and community for generations of students,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams. “These grants enable HBCUs to preserve the noteworthy structures that honor the past and tell the ongoing story of these historic institutions.”
The funding announced today is part of a $9.7 million investment by NPS in HBCUs nationwide. Since the 1990s, the NPS has awarded more than $87 million in grants to over 85 of the remaining active HBCUs. Congress appropriates funding for the program through the Historic Preservation Fund which uses revenue from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, providing assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars.
Accredited HBCUs are eligible to apply for this grant program, and eligible projects include physical preservation of sites listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. HBCU grants can also fund pre-preservation studies, architectural plans and specifications, historic structure reports, campus preservation plans, and National Register nominations.
Applications for $10 million in FY2022 funding will be available in fall of 2022. Learn more here.