HBCU Week observance to feature panel, fall convocation

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – While the 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) represent 3% of the nation’s institutions of higher learning, they graduate nearly one-quarter of African Americans who earn undergraduate degrees. 40% of HBCU students pursue four-year degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) areas and three-quarters of all African-American Ph.D.s did their undergraduate studies at an HBCU. HBCUs are important engines of economic growth and community service and will continue to play a vital role in helping America achieve the goal set by President Obama of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

The only four-year Public HBCU in the state, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) will observe National HBCU Week with a variety of events September 20, 23 and 24. A bone marrow drive will be held Friday, September 20 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in the L.A. Davis, Sr. Student Union. On Monday, September 23 at 6:30 p.m., two alumni and two current students will have a panel discussion on the benefits of an HBCU education in the L.A. Davis, Sr. Student Union lounge.

The celebration will close with Fall Convocation on Tuesday, September 24 at 10:30 a.m. where newly appointed UAPB Chancellor Dr. Laurence Alexander will host a Conversation with the Chancellor segment. This format will provide an open forum for questions from students, faculty and staff. The free, public event will be held in the H.O. Clemmons arena of the Kenneth L. Johnson, Sr. HPER Complex. The marching band, choir and cheerleaders are also scheduled to perform.

About National HBCU Week

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed Executive Order 12232, which established a Federal program “… to overcome the effects of discriminatory treatment and to strengthen and expand the capacity of historically black colleges and universities to provide quality education.” Since that time Each President has subsequently issued an Executive Order on HBCUs.

For more information about the event, call (870)575-8946.


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