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The United Negro College Fund is calling for more congressional action to support historically black colleges and universities financially.

On March 5, the UNCF, to commemorate its 75th anniversary, reported on the state of HBCUs and issued its first Congressional Honor Roll of legislators who have helped HBCUs in their communities and states over the years.

UNCF President Michael Lomax said, “This new HBCU honor roll empowers the work our institutions began more than 150 years ago and hopefully helps us build on the gains we made during the last Congress. These gains included more than $100 million in additional support for HBCUs. However, our institutions still need significant investment in their infrastructure and innovation goals.

“In addition to releasing this honor roll, today I delivered the first ever ‘State of the HBCU Address.’ I called on all lawmakers to renew and increase their commitment to HBCUs, the students and the communities they serve by providing additional funding for the Title III Strengthening Institutions Program and setting aside $1 billion for HBCU capital improvement.”

Lomax also stated: “HBCUs are impactful institutions that are always punching above their weight. Further, our institutions have consistently had to prove their mettle through resiliency and resourcefulness We want our institutions to be vibrant, vital and strong. We want our partners, federal and otherwise, to invest at a level that is not simply about surviving but thriving.”

The Congressional Honor Roll includes two South Carolinians, 6th District Congressman and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.

Locally, Claflin University and Voorhees University issued statements praising HBCU supporters.

“HBCUs like Claflin University are engines of immense social and economic impact in their communities,” said Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, president of Claflin. “But we cannot carry out this work without federal support. … We look forward to our senators and representatives joining with us and UNCF to support the HBCU agenda and advance our priorities.”

Voorhees College President W. Franklin Evans said Voorhees, too, has big impact and urged federal support. “The new UNCF honor roll list enables institutional leaders, faculty, staff, and students the gauge the support of elected officials as a tool to advocate. We are excited about our senators and representatives joining us and UNCF to continue the HBCU agenda and advance.”

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