College students in class.

This month’s roundup includes the terrifying revelation that multiple HBCU campuses and spaces for Black students have been threatened, a look at how Black colleges have used the record-breaking gifts from mega-philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and some commentary on how Jackson State University Coach and NFL Hall of Famer Deion “Prime” Sanders is revolutionizing Black college football — one recruit at a time.

December 16 — January 13

Race and Culture

Nearly two years after a global acknowledgement of racial injustice, at least nine historically Black institutions and at least one prominent space for Black culture were targetted with a bomb threat.

During 2020’s period of racial injustice acknowledgement, the national conversation shifted to focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. As a result, many institutions aimed to beef up their equity and inclusion practices. Meanwhile, HBCUs have been modeling justice, equity, diversity and inclusion all along.

Finances

In 2020 and 2021, we heard about how MacKenzie Scott (and a few notable others) made record-shattering donations to and partnerships with historically Black institutions. The Plug’s HBCU and innovation reporter analyzed how those dollars were spent.

The money keeps rolling in for some. The University of the District of Columbia, whose students are predominantly Black, just received its largest donation in history from an anonymous source.

Still, even though Scott and others gifted HBCUs with large sums of money, the total endowment of these schools combined amounts to a fraction of the endowment at one ivy league school.

That endowment reality is the reason experts are highlighting the need for increased funding for HBCUs. 

Remember when Meharry Medical College gave each of its students $10,000 before Thanksgiving? Here’s more context behind the school’s decision. 

After years of struggle, Morris Brown College has regained its ability to participate in the federal financial aid program.

Sports

Coach Prime and Jackson State University have snagged yet another top player. This time the program landed the No. 1 slot receiver in the country. 

Top player Travis Hunter, who made headlines in the fall when he committed to Jackson State University, has the ability to create a legacy much broader than his Name, Image and Likeness deal.

HBCUs have a documented history of producing NFL greats. Here are the top players to watch in the coming year.

Also making headlines is news that the NBA has opened the application window for the first-ever HBCU NBA Fellows program.

Leadership and Administration

Sonja Stills is making history as the first woman ever to be appointed as a Division I HBCU Commissioner.

Benedict College President Dr. Roslyn Artis has been elected to the Board of Trustees for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) — the accrediting body of degree-granting higher education institutions in the southern states. 

Michigan’s only historically Black institution is one step closer to reopening as the Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design.

Howard University alum and celebrity entertainer Lala Anthony has signed up to mentor HBCU students.

Gene Wade was named CEO of the new Propel Center, an HBCU Technology and Learning Hub.

This news roundup focuses on the trends impacting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and other Minority Serving Institutions (MSI). Each month, we highlight the policy, process and programmatic changes happening nationally and among these institutions and how the colleges and universities are responding to them.

Pittsburgh

(724) 260-0198
PO Box 546
Meadowlands, PA 15347

Los Angeles

(310) 210-7586
6914 N. Vista St.
San Gabriel, CA 91775

New Hampshire

(603) 756-4111
372 West St.
Suite 201B
Keene, NH 03431