In this month's issue of The Roundup: HBCU Edition, we take a look at the news stories and key moments surrounding Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as all of the ways in which HBCUs have helped shape public discourse over the past few weeks.
May 12 - June 8
Donors wiped away student loan debt for the classes of 2020 and 2021 at Wilberforce University.
The classes of 2020 and 2021 at Philander Smith College also saw their debts cleared by the Jack and Jill Foundation, United Negro College Fund and others.
Delaware State University stepped up to cancel student debt for recent graduates who faced hardships due to COVID-19.
Hampton University offered some financial assistance to its recent graduates as well.
The generosity in wiping away student loan debt for recent grads is part of a trend that aims to help more Black people eliminate financial burdens so that they may obtain more financial freedom in the future.
Finances and Philanthropy
The Student Freedom Initiative (SFI) founded by billionaire and HBCU graduate Robert F. Smith announced that networking giant Cisco will give $150 million in order to aid historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), funding the educations of 500 students each year for the next four years.
While the Biden Administration is dedicating financial resources to HBCUs, it may not be enough to overcome decades of underinvestment.
Even with the record investment, some Black college leaders are still explaining why America needs HBCUs.
But having to explain why they exist to some audiences hasn’t kept a record number of students from applying to these institutions.
Meanwhile, Spelman will name its Performing Arts Center after actress and alumna LaTanya Richardson Jackson and her actor husband Samuel L. Jackson.
Howard University will rename its College of Fine Arts after deceased actor and alumnus Chadwick Boseman.
Speaking of Howard, it appointed acclaimed actress Phylicia Rashad as dean of the College of Fine Arts.
Some private Black colleges and universities are re-engaging former students with one-on-one coaching and other tools in an effort to guide them towards graduation.
Twenty HBCUs were selected by the U.S. Department of State as Fulbright Institutional Leaders to further the dialogue and exchange of students and scholars between nations.
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.