5 Alabama HBCUs Secure $2.5M To Preserve Historic Campus Buildings

Thanks to the National Park Service (NPS), five historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Alabama will soon receive about $500K each to help preserve historic campus buildings.

The institutions in question include Alabama State University, Miles College, Alabama A&M University, Stillman College and Selma University.

As for how these institutions will individually utilize the preservation grants, Alabama State will renovate G.W. Trenholm Hall this upcoming fall

“We can’t talk about Black history and Black culture without talking about Historically Black Colleges and Universities. They trained and educated the students that went out and made that history,” Derryn Moten, Chair of Alabama State’s History and Political Science Department, said, according to WKRG.

Derrick Gilmore, VP of Stillman College, said the university would use the funds to convert Sheppard Library into a civil rights museum.

“We also look forward to it being an informational and educational access point for our students to understand the history of the institution, to understand the institution’s role in the civil rights movement,” Gilmore said, per WKRG.

Miles College Provost Jarralynne Agee noted that the institution would focus on preserving Williams Hall, the oldest building on campus.

“This is the building where many of our civil rights icons lived, matriculated, and came up with ideas that helped change, literally, our world,” she said of Williams Hall, according to WKRG.

The other institutions, Alabama A&M and Selma University, will respectively focus on preserving Carnegie Hall Library and Dinkins Memorial Hall.

These Alabama HBCUs are receiving this $2.5M in funding through the NPS‘s larger mission to provide $9.7M in grants to help finance 21 HBCU preservation projects. The initiative was announced last week and will impact other powerhouse HBCUs like North Carolina A&T State University and Mississippi Industrial College.

Aside from this specific program, the NPS has also worked to preserve historic buildings on HBCU campuses like Virginia State University, St. Augustine’s University and Clark Atlanta University.

“For more than 180 years, Historically Black Colleges and Universities have provided high-level academics, opportunities, and community for generations of students. These grants enable HBCUs to preserve the unique structures that honor the past and tell the ongoing story of these historic institutions,” NPS Director Chuck Sams said in a press release.