Press Releases

Selma, AL  Today, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) announced that the National Park Service (NPS) has awarded $750,000 to Selma University to preserve the historic Foster Hall. The funding is part of a $10.6 million investment by NPS to preserve historic structures on the campuses of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Each year, Rep. Sewell leads the congressional effort to increase funding for the NPS Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) to preserve Civil Rights sites and HBCU campuses. Sewell proudly serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional HBCU Caucus.

“I am so proud to have helped secure this $750,000 to preserve the historic Foster Hall on the campus of Selma University!” said Rep. Sewell. “This is about ensuring that the rich legacy of this cherished institution lives on for generations to come. As Representative for America’s Civil Rights District, I am proud to lead the effort in Congress to increase funding for the National Park Service Historic Preservation Civil Rights Grant Program. Fighting for funding like this will continue to be one of my top legislative priorities!” 

“I am extremely grateful for the grant award,” said Selma University President Dr. Stanford Angion. Foster Hall is the oldest extant building on Selma University’s campus. Women of the Alabama State Missionary Baptist Convention led the effort to raise funds for the building, which became a women’s dormitory in 1910. These funds will help us to protect and restore it for use as a women’s dormitory.”

“It’s vital for America’s HBCUs to preserve their vibrant history, ensuring that the places and the events that happened there are not forgotten,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “I’m proud that the National Park Service can support this locally-led stewardship.” 

Foster Hall was built in 1910 and named for Miss Susie C. Foster, who was president of the Women’s Convention at the time of its construction. 

The funding announced today is part of a $10.6 million investment by NPS in HBCUs nationwide. Since the 1990s, the National Park Service has awarded over $70 million in grants to over 80 of the remaining active HBCUs. These grants work to preserve the historic structures on HBCU campuses, many of which are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

More information can be found here.