Thurgood Marshall College Fund Says Work with Trump Admin Paid Off
Harry L. Williams, President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, said that the group’s decision “not to resist, but instead engage in a strategic way and bipartisan fashion on behalf of our nearly 300,000 HBCU students who need a voice in Congress and with the Trump Administration has borne fruit at many levels.” The recently enacted Omnibus Appropriations bill included an increase for Pell Grant funding for students, funding for research grants from the National Institutes of Health (a top federal funding agency for HBCUs) and a 14% overall increase in appropriations for HBCUs at large. The former Delaware State University President also added that this is a “significant indicator of our growing partnership”, and will allow institutions to strengthen their physical plants, financial management, academic resources and endowment-building capacity. Southern University System President Ray L. Belton praised the engagement with administration as well, stating "I commend the members of Congress, including those who serve in the HBCU Caucus and our Louisiana delegation, for their bipartisan work to ensure that our institutions and programs are beneficial to our students and communities”. Despite winning federal assistance across the board, skepticism from HBCU presidents still persists. Hubert L. Grimes, interim president of Bethune-Cookman University in Florida spoke in an interview that though “the importance of federal government support for our institutions is indeed necessary,” administrators face a balancing act in joining momentum support, and recognizing the Trump administration is not popular with students and alumni. More here.