This post is co-authored with Nelson Bowman III, Executive Director of Development at Prairie View A&E University.
Each year we search the nation for the very best of what is happening at HBCUs. This year we found some terrific successes including significant philanthropic contributions, great new programs, and legal and moral victories. Consider our choices and feel free to add your own.
1. Claflin University received $4.35 million for its capital campaign. Claflin is on a roll, setting a new standard for comprehensive fundraising among HBCUs.
2. Tuskegee University received $1 million for its nursing program. Capitalizing on their strong liberal arts program, Tuskegee is strengthening its production of nurses.
3. American Baptist College became the newest HBCU. Although it's technically not possible to add an HBCU as HBCUs had to be created before the 1965 Higher Education Act, American Baptist College was dormant for some time. It is now back. And in 2013, one of the institution's alumni - C.T. Vivian - won the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
4. Maryland HBCUs won their lawsuit against the state for duplicating programs, hampering success. A Maryland judge called the state on the carpet for its behavior - behavior that has been discriminating against public HBCUs and maintaining racial segregation in public higher education in Maryland.
5. Bethune-Cookman College launched Fatherhood Institute. With the goal of instilling a love for learning and education in young people, Bethune-Cookman invested in fathers and sons.
6. Prairie View A&M University got on-campus polling station. Students at PVAMU fought and fought hard to secure a voting station on their campus in an effort to retain their voting rights in the state.
7. HBCUs built new partnerships in the Silicon Valley. The United Negro College Fund orchestrated high tech partnerships for HBCUs that will benefit HBCU graduates.
8. Morehouse College graduates were honored with a commencement speech from President Barack Obama. Our nation's president told all of the Morehouse graduates that they had an obligation to each other, the larger Black community, and the nation as a whole.
9. Jackson State University offered tuition assistance to students from foster care. Foster students are a growing population and many of these students find access to college a significant challenge. Jackson State is providing opportunities where none were had before.
10. Morgan State University took a stand against homophobia, standing up for a student who was discriminated against by a national fraternity present on the campus.