Governor Gretchen Whitmer Signs Bill To Officially Reopen Michigan’s First HBCU In Detroit
Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla
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Governor Gretchen Whitmer Signs Bill To Officially Reopen Michigan’s First HBCU In Detroit

The good news is still pouring in for this Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design made history drafting proposed legislation that would benchmark it as the nation’s first-ever re-opened historically Black college, AfroTech previously reported. Now, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appears to be on board as she reportedly signed legislation to confirm the proceeding of the HBCU.

“I am proud to play a part in helping reopen the Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design in Detroit,” Whitmer said in a press release. “I am committed to expanding educational opportunities for Michiganders across our state to put Michigan first.”

The HBCU Will Strengthen The Job Pipeline

Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design is set to re-open during the first quarter of 2022 with the help of the College for Creative Studies and Dr. D’Wayne Edwards serving as the school’s president.

“HBCUs are a large part of our history as African Americans and we must preserve these sacred institutions. At one point, there were more than 120 HBCUs, and today we are down to 101 with more in danger of closing every year,” Edwards previously told AfroTech. “I truly believe HBCUs hold the key to our future, especially if they continue to receive the funding they need to create a curriculum that competes or elevates over the traditional learning institutions.”

The re-opening will strengthen the job pipeline for Black creatives, business leaders, designers, and engineers through the school’s offerings.

“I want to thank Governor Whitmer for taking action to support this pipeline of underserved talent alongside the countless partners who have stood up to make this a reality. We can create generations of equitable access to the skills that will lead to good-paying jobs and create products and services that can define the future,” said Don Tuski, president of College for Creative Studies, in a press release.

The HBCU Will Honor Violet T. Lewis

Unlike traditional higher-level education, the school will be “majority tuition-free” and brands will be responsible to pay for students’ tuition and housing.

According to Edwards, these policies will help revive the legacy of Violet T. Lewis, the inspiration for the naming of the school.

“Our goal is to celebrate Violet T. Lewis’ life’s work she established in the city of Detroit in 1939,” said Edwards in a statement. “Today moves us forward to another major step in continuing her legacy with the support of our founding partners College for Creative Studies, Target, and The Gilbert Family Foundation.”