VSU President pens letter to Congress for additional funding for HBCU’s

Updated: May. 26, 2020 at 4:51 PM EDT
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PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - The Coronavirus Pandemic has shut college campuses down early this academic year. It has left many to wonder what the fall semester will look like.

Leaders at Historically Black Colleges and Universities say they don’t want to be left out of grants and opportunities.

“We’re all in the same storm but we are not all In the same boat,” Virginia State University President, Dr. Makola Abdullah, said.

Many collegiate graduations have been canceled, postponed or moved virtually.

“We want to make sure the federal government is aware of the kinds of challenges we face and also challenges the nation faces that HBCU’s can assist with,” Dr. Abdullah said.

Dr. Makola Abdullah wrote a letter to Congress on behalf of the 19 University leaders that comprise the Council of 1890 Universities.

In the letter, Dr. Abdullah shared why Congress should give an additional $1.5 billion in stimulus funds to some HBCUs.

“We are looking at how we can continue helping our students with the Federal Pell Grant. The team’s looking at how can we increase the level to produce technology,” Dr. Abdullah said.

Abdullah also says they are looking at the health disparities and admits the past few months have been hard.

“The abrupt transition to remote instruction. The idea we care so much about each other that we feel like a family here at Virginia State and the fact we had the students leave so abruptly was very difficult,” Abdullah said.

The school has postponed in-person commencement until December but held a virtual celebration to honor seniors.

No word yet on what the fall school year will look like but the hope is to all be together.

VSU was founded in 1882 and Abdullah says the hope is to continue the history of educating and training generations to come.

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