150 YEARS OF HBCU EXCELLENCE; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 201
(House of Representatives - December 11, 2017)

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                      150 YEARS OF HBCU EXCELLENCE

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Taylor). Under the Speaker's announced 
policy of January 3, 2017, the gentlewoman from North Carolina (Ms. 
Adams) is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority 

                             General Leave

  Ms. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to 
include any extraneous material on the subject of this Special Order.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from North Carolina?
  There was no objection.
  Ms. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, for the next 60 minutes, we have a chance to 
speak directly to the American people on issues of great importance to 
the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congress, our constituents, and all 
  I acknowledge all the members of the Congressional Black Caucus who 
are here, and most specifically, Congressman Richmond, who helped to 
organize this Special Order hour.
  As we convene tonight, we are going to recognize our HBCUs, and more 
specifically, the nine HBCUs under the caption of: 150 Years of 
  I rise today to honor our Historically Black Colleges and 
Universities, and in particular, the nine schools that are celebrating 
150 years.
  As a member of the CBC's Task Force on HBCUs and as co-chair of the 
bipartisan HBCU Caucus, I have the distinct pleasure of honoring all of 
the following schools of the HBCU 9 for this remarkable achievement: 
Alabama State University; Barber-Scotia College; Fayetteville State 
University; Howard University, Morehouse College; Morgan State 
University; St. Augustine University; Talladega College; and from my 
very own 12th District in North Carolina, Johnson C. Smith University.
  The achievement of these schools across the past 150 years are beyond 
remarkable and their reputation as incubators of innovation and Black 
leadership is an incredible accomplishment in and of itself.
  From humble beginnings, these schools have been able to persevere, 
despite decades of discrimination and intentional neglect, in order to 
provide African Americans a first class education.
  Mr. Speaker, I stand here today as a living testament to the 
necessity and the importance of HBCUs. My mother, who raised me, was 
not an educated woman. She wasn't able to obtain a high school 
education. She didn't attend an HBCU, for that matter. But she 
understood how important education would be in my life. She did 
domestic work. She cleaned other folks' houses so I wouldn't have to 
because she understood how important it was for me to go to school.

[[Page H9782]]

  But like those visionaries who founded these schools after surviving 
the horrors of slavery, my mom dreamed of a better future for me, her 
daughter. When I could not fully recognize the potential in myself, it 
was an HBCU, North Carolina A&T State University, that saw something in 
me and made a committed investment toward my success.
  North Carolina A&T State University gave a poor Black girl from the 
ghetto of Newark, New Jersey, an opportunity because it believed in 
opportunity and the fundamental importance of education that W.E.B. Du 
Bois spoke about when he said: ``Of all the civil rights for which the 
world has struggled and fought for 5,000 years, the right to learn is 
undoubtedly the most fundamental.''
  A&T took me where I was. They got me to where I needed to be. They 
shaped and molded me into what they knew I could become. Just as our 
HBCUs have done for many of our colleagues who join me in the people's 
House today, our HBCUs are responsible for educating 20 Members of this 
esteemed body and one Member of the U.S. Senate.
  But that is only a small part of the story that these schools are 
continuing to tell. HBCUs also contribute 50 percent of African-
American professionals and public schoolteachers. They contribute 25 
percent of all African-American STEM graduates, 40 percent of all 
African-American engineers, 50 percent of African-American lawyers, and 
80 percent of African-American judges.

                              {time}  1930

  Most plainly, HBCUs are responsible for building today's African-
American middle class--this is a record to be proud of--and, of all of 
these accomplishments, without the assistance and support from the 
government and our private sector partners that they need and deserve.
  Mr. Speaker, as we stand here tonight, as the CBC, to honor HBCUs, we 
remain vigilant about the current dangers that they face. Many HBCUs 
still suffer from barriers for access for students, such as 
affordability, and the overall financial instability of both the 
students they serve and of the institutions themselves, due to a lack 
of access to funding.
  As many of you know, one of my first tasks when I entered Congress 
was to launch the bipartisan HBCU Caucus, with my co-chair Bradley 
Byrne from Alabama. Vice chairing our caucus is Terri Sewell and Bennie 
Thompson, and French Hill on the Republican side. Since its inception, 
we have witnessed fortunate growth to a total of 58 Representatives and 
2 Senators. We came together to create a national dialogue around HBCUs 
for our Members and their staffs about the issues impacting our 
schools. We also came together to draft meaningful bipartisan 
  In accomplishing the first aim, the willingness of Members to attend 
today illustrates that a national dialogue has begun. Before we leave 
here today, our Members and our staffs, who couldn't join us tonight, 
will, hopefully, learn and know the issues. To achieve the third 
legislative goal, it will take the collective effort of all of us who 
have been entrusted to work here in the people's House.
  Tomorrow, I and my colleagues on the Education and the Workforce 
Committee will debate a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, a 
flawed piece of legislation that, in many respects, will devastate 
HBCUs and their students. Consideration of this measure illustrates how 
we need that collective effort from both sides of the aisle to work 
together now, more than ever.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues tonight, dedicated to the 
achievement of HBCU students and graduates, to come together to work to 
increase access and career opportunities. I hope we can all, tonight, 
vow to take substantive action and recognize that the government cannot 
take on this aim and this challenge alone. Let's work with our private 
partners to create pathways of opportunity for our students, placing 
them in fields that will make the African-American middle class larger 
and stronger than ever.
  Let's vow to continue listening to our HBCUs and their able 
administrators, to ensure that they have the tools and the resources to 
make that happen, for only then can we ensure that these valuable 
institutions not only survive, but that they thrive. We have a number 
of universities in North Carolina for public HBCUs and six private 
HBCUs, and we are so very proud of all of our HBCUs throughout this 
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Mississippi (Mr. 
Thompson), my colleague.
  Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for 
  Mr. Speaker, I represent the Second District of Mississippi. I would 
like to pay tribute to those four Historically Black Colleges that 
reside in the Second District, but before I do, I want to, for the 
Record, make sure that people understand the role of Historically Black 
Colleges and how they actually came to exist.
  For those who think education has always been here for anyone who 
would want it, I just take you back to that 150 years ago that my 
colleague from North Carolina talked about. Well, that 150 years was 
the beginning of people recognizing that African Americans should have 
the opportunity to go to school, just like anyone else.
  But, unfortunately, in this country, if you were of color, there were 
no provisions for you to have a college education. So, for a lot of 
people in this country, it didn't matter how bright they were, it was 
the fact that there were no institutions available for you to go.
  It is also important to look at my situation in my area that I 
represent, Mr. Speaker. When I went to college, I had never met an 
African-American doctor, lawyer, dentist, or anything because they 
didn't exist. When I got to college, my college physician was an 
African American, but I went to Tougaloo College. He was a graduate of 
Tougaloo, and he had to go to medical school out of State because no 
medical school would admit him. But the most important thing I am 
saying is that for a lot of professionals who wanted to do good in 
their communities, they had to go out of State, so Historically Black 
Colleges were created.
  I met Martin Luther King, Jr., on the campus of Tougaloo College when 
I was a student. Tougaloo College and Rust College, in another 
district, were the only two institutions of higher learning that would 
allow Martin Luther King, Jr., to speak on their campus, and they both 
were Historically Black Colleges. So, if for no other reason, 
Historically Black Colleges have helped level the playing field. They 
have exposed a number of African-American students to a broader view in 
terms of life and what happens, but they were also put in situations, 
Mr. Speaker, and an environment that they could relate to.
  So, Tougaloo College, I salute you.
  Jackson State University is the largest Historically Black College in 
the State of Mississippi, well renowned. They have over 10,000 students 
on its campus. It is the only State-supported university in the capital 
city. So we pay special tribute to Jackson State University. They are 
noted for a number of graduates, too many to name. They continue to 
excel in every facet of academia.
  Alcorn State University, the oldest African-American land grant 
college in America, turns out a number of students who have gone on to 
excel not just in agriculture, but in medicine, law, and education.
  Mississippi Valley State University, located in Itta Bena, 
Mississippi, was created to avoid integration. If you look at the 
charter for Mississippi Valley State University, it was created so 
Negroes could go to school in the Mississippi Delta and not be forced 
to integrate into the White colleges. So, for whatever reason, 
Mississippi Valley State University was created, and it thrives to this 

  Mr. Speaker, the most important thing I would like to say is that 
when I was a student at Jackson State University, I participated in a 
lawsuit that talked about equity in funding for Historically Black 
Colleges. It took us 27 years of litigation--Ayers v. Mississippi 
Institutions of Higher Learning--to prove that the Black schools were 
not getting the same resources as the White schools. We won the lawsuit 
and we are now talking about equity in those institutions.
  As important is not just having the institutions, but those who are 
State-supported, to have the proper resources so their students can 
become and be

[[Page H9783]]

the best that they can be. It is fitting and proper that we celebrate 
not just the nine HBCUs, but let's talk about all of them and the merit 
and worth that they have given to this country.
  Mr. Speaker, I pay special tribute--and I think there are about 103 
or 104 Historically Black Colleges--106. I stand corrected. So, again, 
they are doing a wonderful job, but it is the purpose for which they 
were created.
  Some people will try to convince that there is no issue with race in 
America today, and I beg to differ that if it were not for those 
Historically Black Colleges, a lot of individuals would not be where 
they are today. If you talk to those 20 Members of the United States 
House of Representatives who are graduates of Historically Black 
Colleges, they will talk to you and tell you about the fabric and 
representation that going to those schools provided to them.
  I am happy to say that not only is my daughter a graduate of two 
HBCUs, but my granddaughter is also attending Xavier University of 
Louisiana in New Orleans. She really didn't have a choice in the 
matter, but she thought she did; but at the end of the day, she is a 
second-year student there, and I am happy to say that she wouldn't have 
it any other way. So that HBCU education is already sinking in. 
Whatever she chooses to do, I am convinced that her perspective will be 
far broader because of her attendance at Xavier University of 
  Ms. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Mississippi for 
not only that valuable information, but for the work that he has done 
over the years and for making an HBCU choice. I did the same thing for 
my daughter. I said: You go wherever you want, my money is going to an 
  But nothing could be finer than to be at an HBCU. It really does so 
much to get our students to where they need to be, especially those who 
come the way I did: not fully prepared.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Bishop), from 
the Second District.
  Mr. BISHOP of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for 
  This is certainly a very, very appropriate tribute. As a product of 
Morehouse College, I know firsthand the important contribution HBCUs 
have made in educating, training, and empowering outstanding leaders.
  Morehouse College is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year. 
Throughout its 150-year history, Morehouse College has made a 
significant mark on our State, our Nation, and the world. Here, many 
notable men gained the knowledge and the training that enabled them to 
become some of the greatest influences of our time, including Dr. 
Martin Luther King, Jr.; noted theologian, Dr. Howard Thurman; civil 
rights leader, Julian Bond; filmmaker Shelton ``Spike'' Lee; Olympic 
gold medalist Edwin Moses; CEO of the Silicon Valley Community 
Foundation, Emmett Carson; and many more.
  Morehouse principles often instill a desire for public service to 
benefit mankind. In the United States Congress, Representative Cedric 
Richmond, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus; as well as 
many staff members and former Members of Congress, hold degrees from 
Morehouse College.
  U.S. Presidents have relied on alumni, such as former Secretary of 
Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson; former Secretary of Health and Human 
Services, Dr. Louis Sullivan; former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. David 
Satcher; and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, James 
  Around the country, State and local governments have been led by 
alumni, such as Maynard Holbrook Jackson, the first African-American 
mayor of Atlanta, Georgia.
  I have the honor and privilege of representing these two HBCUs in the 
Second Congressional District of Georgia: Albany State University and 
Fort Valley State University.
  Albany State University, with its rich history, dating back to the 
trials and the triumphs faced by Joseph Winthrop Holley. Albany State 
University was first founded as the Albany Bible and Manual Institute 
in 1903. The school gained State funding in 1917, joined the University 
of Georgia system in 1932, began offering baccalaureate degrees in 
1943, and came back strong after severe floods in 1996 as Albany State 
University, offering graduate programs and advanced degrees.

                              {time}  1945

  Today, the university has a total economic impact of $143 million and 
supports 1,493 jobs in the Albany area. Its educational contributions 
are significant. Albany State is the third in the Nation for bachelor's 
degrees in education for African Americans. It offers 35 degree 
programs in education, nursing, criminal justice, business 
administration, public administration; and Albany State University has 
produced doctors, lawyers, NASA engineers, military officers, college 
university presidents, teachers, preachers, mayors, legislators, 
business people, millionaires, and Olympic medalists.
  The Fort Valley State University, which I have the honor of 
representing, was founded 120 years ago. Fort Valley is Georgia's only 
1890 land-grant institution charged with educating and empowering its 
students and its surrounding community.
  As many of you are aware, 1890 institutions, including Fort Valley 
State University, were created to ensure access to higher education in 
the agricultural and natural resource sciences to serve the underserved 
and reach the unreached.
  Fort Valley has always been known to not only train and graduate 
tomorrow's talented leaders but to ensure that these leaders are as 
diverse as the communities they serve in their skill sets, their 
experiences, and their perspectives. Fort Valley State University has 
excelled at this job. It generates an economic impact of $109 million 
for its local and regional economy and generates 1,125 jobs.
  In addition to the educational, social, and community benefits a Fort 
Valley education provides, it is estimated that Fort Valley State 
University increases its graduates' lifetime earnings by 61 percent.
  As you can see, Historically Black Colleges and Universities are a 
vital part of the fabric of our educational system. I congratulate them 
for their contributions to our Nation, and I look forward to their 
continued tutelage for generations of future leaders for this country 
and the world.
  Ms. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. 
Bishop), the Morehouse man. I thank him very much for his contributions 
tonight and for all he has done.
  Mr. Speaker, may I ask how much time I have left.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from North Carolina has 39 
minutes remaining.
  Ms. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from Ohio's Third 
District (Mrs. Beatty).
  Mrs. BEATTY. Mr. Speaker, it is, indeed, my honor to join my 
colleagues tonight to recognize and celebrate 150 years of excellence 
in education at HBCUs. I thank the congresswoman from North Carolina's 
12th Congressional District (Ms. Adams) for leading the charge tonight.
  And to our CBC chairman, Congressman Cedric Richmond, I thank him for 
allowing us to come forward and not only tell our stories about the 150 
years, but to demonstrate to all of those, Mr. Speaker, who are 
watching tonight, that we set an example for others to follow.
  The nine HBCUs celebrating their 150th anniversaries this year have 
been educating and transforming Black students across this Nation into 
leaders. For 150 years, HBCUs have weathered the violence of Jim Crow 
laws and funding cuts to continue to be the light in many of our 
overlooked communities.
  While my alma mater, Central State University, hasn't been here for 
150 years, it was established in 1887. And in 2014, it received the 
designation as a land-grant university, the last of the HBCUs to become 
a land-grant.
  For 130 years, Central State University has been that light, that 
training ground for African-American change makers--African-American 
change makers in a nation like you see in this picture. It was just a 
few months ago I traveled back for my homecoming to celebrate with 
friends and classmates, 130 years. It is 130 years of a university that 
has produced classmates like Nancy Wilson, Leontyne Price, Orlando 
Brown, Arsenio Hall, Jason Thomas, a United States Marine who was there 
during the aftermath of 9/11 and rescued people. Also, we have people 

[[Page H9784]]

Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African-
American students who, as we all remember, in 1957, were the first 
Black students ever to attend classes at Little Rock Central High 
  I am very thankful for 40-plus years of friendships with individuals 
like Zenobia Leavell. And when I think of Linda Brown, and as we call 
her ``Lulu,'' for organizing this picture, because we stand tall, and 
we represent all sectors of this community.
  Central State provided an education for this little girl from Dayton, 
Ohio, when my mother and father sat down and they were able to put 
their dollars and cents together to not only send me, but to send every 
one of my siblings to an HBCU university. They said: We want you to go 
there, but we want you to come back. Little did they know that I would 
stand in the Halls of Congress and advocate for HBCU universities. 
Attending Central State University changed my life.
  It is important for you to know, when we talk about HBCUs, I know it 
all too well. Just yesterday, I sat at our kitchen table with my 
grandbabies and their parents and my husband, and our conversation--I 
was so proud because, you see, it was Howard University, Morehouse 
College, and Spelman College that produced us. When you think about my 
husband, an attorney, a graduate of Howard University; when you think 
about Otto III, an attorney and entrepreneur and graduate of Morehouse 
College; when you think of Laurel Beatty Blunt, a common pleas court 
judge and a graduate of Spelman College; I am so proud that when I sat 
there and I looked at my grandbabies, Leah and Spencer, and as Leah 
beamed because she was wearing a T-shirt that said: I am Spelman-bound, 
Grammy; and then there is Spencer, who will be going to Morehouse, that 
is because we stand on the shoulders of so many.
  Why do we come tonight? We come to tell you that 40 percent of all 
Black Members of Congress are graduates of HBCUs; 12.5 percent of all 
Black CEOs, HBCUs; half of all the Black professors at non-HBCUs; 50 
percent of all Black lawyers, graduates of HBCUs; and 80 percent of all 
Black judges, graduates of HBCUs.

  When I think about today, with Trump's administration and with their 
proposals to cut Pell grants, when I think about the threats to hold 
construction grants, when I think about Republicans' assault on 
students in the Republican tax scam hike, it is a sad day in America.
  We come today because we want our voices to be heard, because we 
know, in the words of one of our own, Barbara Jordan: ``Education 
remains the key to both economic and political empowerment. That is why 
schools charged with educating African Americans have, perhaps, the 
deepest challenge of all.''
  Mr. Speaker, let me end by saying two things in the words of Nelson 
Mandela, and I think it sums it all up: ``Education is the most 
powerful weapon you can have to change the world.''
  That is why I stand here with my colleagues, standing up for HBCUs, 
standing up that this administration will understand that we expect--
no, we demand to get the appropriate funding so our children, our 
grandchildren, and generations yet unborn will have the same 
opportunities that I have had and so many more, because when HBCUs 
succeed, America succeeds.
  Ms. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from Ohio (Mrs. 
Beatty) for her participation and for all of the work that she 
continues to do, and we are so very proud of her acknowledgment tonight 
of our HBCUs.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from the 14th District in 
Michigan (Mrs. Lawrence).
  Mrs. LAWRENCE. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the congresswoman from 
the great State of North Carolina (Ms. Adams) for her endless passion 
for education of the next generation and her strong support of our 
HBCUs. I also want to acknowledge our chairman, Cedric Richmond, our 
CBC chairman.
  Mr. Speaker, I stand here today to recognize something truly 
incredible. This year, nine Historically Black Colleges and 
Universities are celebrating their 150th anniversaries, 150 years of 
excellence, of endurance, and of new opportunity, collective strengths, 
and a core belief in the value of education.
  Mr. Speaker, we so often talk about the American Dream, and we talk 
about that ladder of success that any American can have if they work 
hard and get an education. We all know that that first rung of that 
ladder is clearly education, and if we do not keep our promise in 
America to educate, we are failing in our American commitment to 
excellence in developing all young people to obtain their greatness.
  As we look upon these accomplishments of 150 years, we are reminded 
how important and how vital these schools have been to the advancement 
of African Americans.
  Mr. Speaker, by establishing these amazing places or institutions of 
learning, against all odds, and by turning them into world-class 
institutions, African-American leaders have made it clear that we hold 
the belief in education just as dearly as anyone else in America.
  However, to ensure that some day we can celebrate these amazing 
institutions' 200th and 300th anniversaries, it is critical that we, as 
a country, resist the shameful attacks on our education system.
  Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, the current tax plan being negotiated by 
my Republican colleagues threatens our educational system like never 
before. It pains me to stand here tonight congratulating 150 years of 
academic excellence while a small group of Republicans are working 
behind closed doors to strip educational opportunities for millions of 
  I do not believe that this is what the constituents voted for. U.S. 
citizens did not vote for higher student loan payments, teachers 
digging deeper in their pockets to supply the basic needs for their 
students, and a punishing tax on university endowments.
  This is truly a tax scam. But perhaps the most senseless attacks on 
this success are coming from the White House. Earlier this year, I was 
horrified to see the President refer to the HBCUs as 
``unconstitutional'' simply because they were the answer to a 
fundamentally unequal education system.
  And let me be clear, HBCUs were created because there were no other 
choices. However, this feeling of being horrified or disappointed, I 
had frequently this year. While I am horrified, unfortunately, it is no 
longer a surprise. After all, this is a President who refused to 
denounce the blatant racism in Charlottesville and whose Education 
Secretary foolishly called HBCUs the ``pioneers of school choice.'' 
Clearly she doesn't know the history because there was no choice, Mr. 

                              {time}  2000

  While this can be unfortunate, disappointing, and even sickening, 
HBCUs were born out of adversity, and I see no reason to cave to the 
pressure now. We need to protect our HBCUs for future generations, for 
tomorrow's leaders because, as we continue to see, equality is a fight. 
Equality is a process.
  I know a day will come, and I pray that I will be able to see with my 
own eyes, that equality in education and equality in this country is a 
reality. But until then, we must acknowledge today's successes, the 
successes of these amazing places, institutions of learning, and 
continue to fight for tomorrow's dreams of our next generation.
  Ms. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from Michigan for her 
contribution tonight and for her support of Historically Black Colleges 
and Universities.
  Mr. Speaker, how much time do I have remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from North Carolina has 
24\1/2\ minutes remaining.
  Ms. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from the Third 
District of Virginia (Mr. Scott), who is the ranking member on the 
Education and the Workforce Committee.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for 
yielding. I also want to thank her for her leadership in organizing 
this Special Order and for her leadership of the Historically Black 
Colleges and Universities Caucus.
  HBCUs provide a great value to America, and I am honored to represent 
a congressional district that is home to two HBCUs: Hampton University, 
which celebrates its 150th anniversary next year, and Norfolk State 
  Since their inception, HBCUs have been the cornerstone of 

[[Page H9785]]

education for the African-American community. This was true 150 years 
ago and remains true today. HBCUs account for no more than 3 percent of 
all colleges and universities, yet they enroll almost 10 percent of all 
African-American undergraduate students and produce about 15 percent of 
all bachelor's degrees earned by African Americans.
  They also produce 25 percent of African-American STEM graduates and 
33 percent of African-American science and engineering Ph.D.'s. 
Approximately half of all African-American teachers graduated from 
HBCUs. Many of them choose to teach in high-minority, low-income school 
districts where they serve as role models for their communities.
  As ranking member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, I 
know the prominent role that HBCUs play in our higher education 
landscape. I believe that strengthening and supporting them must be a 
key priority as Congress looks ahead to taking action on the 
reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. However, it does not 
appear that the majority shares that belief.
  The Committee on Education and the Workforce meets tomorrow morning 
at 10 to mark up H.R. 4508, a partisan rewrite of the Higher Education 
Act that was drafted in secret, introduced less than 2 weeks ago, and 
is now being considered in committee without a single hearing on the 
  Mr. Speaker, HBCUs, those who lead them, those who support them, and 
those who hope their children might one day attend them, should be 
gravely concerned with H.R. 4508. This is a bad deal for students, a 
bad deal for schools, and a bad deal for working families.
  This bill would decimate the Federal student aid for low-income 
students. It would significantly reduce available aid for grants--that 
is money that students don't have to pay back, forcing them to borrow 
more money. It leaves the Pell Grant program as the only remaining 
grant aid, yet it fails to increase Pell dollars, fails to increase the 
Pell maximum award to account for inflation, and it expands eligibility 
to low-quality programs without any Federal oversight.
  This bill changes the available terms for Federal student loans, 
making them far less generous than current law, and eliminates the 
Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, a program that attracts the 
best and the brightest to forgo higher salaries in exchange for public 
  H.R. 4508 caps loan amounts for graduate students and families, 
pushing them into higher interest, private markets, and even bars 
graduate students from participating in Federal work study.
  The Republican bill fails to reauthorize the Perkins Loan Program, a 
campus-based aid program that allows low-income students to access low-
cost loans, and eliminates other forms of campus-based aid.
  Mr. Speaker, there is no way around it. This is a bad bill. H.R. 4508 
will force students to borrow more money, pay more to borrow more, and 
pay more when they pay that money back. It makes college more expensive 
at every step of the process, putting college and graduate degrees 
further out of reach for low-income and minority students. Those are 
groups that are already underrepresented in our higher education system 
and served at higher rates by HBCUs and other minority-serving 
  Further, the bill makes no additional investment in minority-serving 
institutions and other underresourced institutions, institutions that 
tend to serve communities of color, and eliminates grant programs that 
support minority students who want to pursue postgraduate degrees. The 
bill would even incentivize institutions to forgo enrollment of high-
risk students.
  Lastly, the bill prioritizes low- or no-quality workforce training 
over more advanced credentialing, potentially exacerbating what is on 
track to become a two-tiered system of higher education: college and 
graduate school for the wealthy, and direct-to-workforce training for 
the poor.
  While not every student seeks to pursue a 4-year degree or even a 
graduate degree, every student must have that option and opportunity to 
make that choice. According to the United Negro College Fund: ``We 
remain deeply concerned that H.R. 4508 falls short of enabling college 
success for minority and low-income students who can help our country 
compete and win the global economy. On balance, the PROSPER Act would 
cause minority and low-income students to pay more to earn their 
college degrees at a time when they should be paying less. In addition, 
we are concerned that one theme of the bill is to highlight short-term 
training options, when a 4-year college degree has a substantially 
greater payoff, in general, with higher lifetime earnings and lower 
unemployment--and this payoff may be the greatest for minority and low-
income students. Further, a significant shortcoming of the bill is it 
fails to make any new investment in HBCUs which pull above their weight 
in producing African-American college graduates and, worse, it cuts the 
current Federal investment in these institutions.''

  Mr. Speaker, we want to ask what problem H.R. 4508 is trying to 
solve. Does the majority think there is too much money to send poor and 
minority students to college? Does the majority think that there are 
too many poor students and minority students accessing and completing 
their college education? Does the majority think that inequality in 
higher education is solved?
  Mr. Speaker, as we rise to commemorate 150 years of HBCU excellence, 
let us remember that we still have a fight to fight. Let us reject H.R. 
4508 and fight for a Higher Education Act that not only honors HBCU 
excellence, but also builds on it through investing in students and 
working families.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from North Carolina for 
organizing this Special Order.
  Ms. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Virginia for his 
comments and for his work in education.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from the Second District of 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Evans).
  Mr. EVANS. Mr. Speaker, I, too, would like to thank my good colleague 
from the great State of North Carolina for her leadership on this very 
important issue.
  I am proud to stand here with so many of my friends and colleagues 
tonight for a topic near and dear to my heart: the continued viability 
and success and importance of HBCUs.
  Our HBCUs play an incredible critical role in the stability and 
strength in our Nation. I truly believe, in order to build stronger 
neighborhoods, better schools, and other community-sustainable 
institutions, we must go block by block, we must celebrate the 
diversity, and we must salute the rich history of the HBCUs and the 
phenomenal contributions that they have made and will continue to make 
to our communities nationwide.
  I am so proud to say that, for years, our HBCUs have produced amazing 
leaders who not only contribute to their respective fields, but who 
also pride themselves on making sure the next generation of African 
Americans succeed.
  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the proud home of two exceptional 
HBCUs: Cheyney University and Lincoln University. They share the 
distinction of being the first two HBCUs founded in America, a point of 
great pride to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Many of my fellow 
members of the CBC have HBCUs in their States, but they started in 
  Many students and residents in the Second Congressional District call 
Lincoln and Cheyney their alma mater. Cheyney was founded on February 
25, 1837, three decades before the Emancipation Proclamation. This 
year, Cheyney is celebrating its 180th anniversary.
  Cheyney is located outside of Pennsylvania's Second Congressional 
District and is the oldest HBCU in the country. For years, Cheyney was 
known as a teachers college and has played an incredibly viable role 
within the Commonwealth, ensuring the elementary, secondary, middle 
school, and high school teachers at schools in the city of Philadelphia 
and across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are prepared and have the 
necessary skills in order to train our students for success in the 
classroom and beyond.
  That brings us to Lincoln University. Lincoln was established as our 

[[Page H9786]]

first degree-granting HBCU. Lincoln was designated as the first 
institution in the world to provide higher education in the arts and 
sciences for young African-American males and is famous for two of the 
lions of Black American history: Langston Hughes, and the Supreme Court 
Justice Thurgood Marshall. Today, Lincoln is one of the largest 
employers in southern Chester County, Pennsylvania.
  Our HBCUs nationwide are critical to the strength and stability of 
our Nation. Just like our cities, our schools compete for people. We 
have the power to continue to define the rich history and the legacies 
of our HBCUs.
  I am proud to stand here today with our friends and colleagues to 
send a strong message that it is on us. It is our job to ensure that we 
protect these institutions that are true treasures and recognize their 
significant societal contributions by continuing to ensure their 
  I salute the Lincoln Lions and the Cheyney Wolves. Both of these 
institutions are very proud, and I am proud that they are institutions 
in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  Ms. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania for 
not only his support, but for his contributions to our Historically 
Black Colleges and Universities.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from the Sixth District of 
South Carolina (Mr. Clyburn), our final speaker, the Democratic 
Assistant Leader.
  Mr. CLYBURN. Mr. Speaker, I stand before this House tonight as the 
proud Representative of the congressional district that has seven of 
the eight HBCUs in South Carolina within its borders: Allen and 
Benedict in Columbia; Claflin and South Carolina State in Orangeburg; 
Morris in Sumter; Voorhees, Denmark Tech in Denmark, South Carolina; 
and Clinton College in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
  I listened intently as some of the speakers spoke before me, and I 
would like to give just a brief overview of the history of HBCUs.
  You have heard from the previous speaker that the first HBCU was 
Cheyney State in 1837. Well, it is kind of interesting. That school was 
created a few decades before the Emancipation Proclamation, so it means 
that before slavery was abolished, HBCUs existed.
  Now, one of the interesting things that took place during the Civil 
War was the creation of something called the Morrill Act. The gentleman 
from Vermont, Justin Morrill, introduced legislation to train people 
not just in agriculture, but in military training.

                              {time}  2015

  That law was signed by the President, President Abraham Lincoln, July 
2, 1862.
  Now, the interesting thing is that when the law was enacted, the 
Southern States refused to implement that law on behalf of people of 
color. They would not allow any person of color to attend those 
schools. Consequently, Justin Morrill went back before the Congress 
and, in 1880, created a second Morrill Act, this time mandating that 
these schools be established in the former slave States for people of 
  Now, I bring that up tonight because one of the speakers talked about 
President Trump signing a bill earlier this year and issuing what we 
call a signing statement. In his statement, he said that he is going to 
sign the bill, though he questioned the constitutionality of that 
section of the bill that funded Historically Black Colleges and 
  Just think about this: the history of this country was to deny 
educational opportunities to people of color, and now we have a 
President of the United States today saying that those schools that 
were established for the express purpose of educating those citizens, 
that legislation is unconstitutional.
  If nothing else we have heard from this President bothers you, that 
one thing should bother every person in the United States of America.
  Now, I have talked about those schools that I am proud to represent. 
I met with the President. Unfortunately, I heard stuff all over the 
weekend about the Congressional Black Caucus refusing to meet with 
President Trump. That is not true. The leadership of the Congressional 
Black Caucus did, in fact, meet with him, and though I don't hold a 
leadership position, they invited me to go along.
  So I sat with the President in the Oval Office, and I told the 
President something that I want to share with the listeners tonight 
about HBCUs.
  I told the President the story of a young man whom a lot of people 
have heard of, Ronald McNair. Ronald McNair was an astronaut who lost 
his life in the blowup of the Challenger.
  Ronald McNair came from the little town of Lake City, South Carolina, 
in the Sixth Congressional District that I proudly represent, and I got 
to know him and his family very well.
  We were talking one day as he was getting ready to retire from 
astronaut school. In fact, that accident of the Challenger was to be 
his last flight. He was going to retire. He was coming home to be a 
professor at the University of South Carolina, also in my district. He 
said to me that when he graduated from high school in Lake City and 
went off to North Carolina A&T, he had to take remedial courses.
  Now, everybody talked about Ron McNair. I shared this with the 
President. I told him, I said: Everybody talked about him having a 
physics degree from MIT. Nobody talks about the fact that he went to 
North Carolina A&T. And he said to me: Had it not been for North 
Carolina A&T, he never would have made it. Why? Because it was on that 
small campus he was nurtured. When they saw in him that he had the 
ability to be a great physicist, the ability to be a great astronaut, 
what he did not have was the background, the educational preparation 
that was not provided for him in that little rural town that he grew up 
in, and the same thing is taking place today.
  There are communities in my congressional district where there are 
gifted young people, but they come from what we call Gullah Geechee 
communities from the seacoast, those islands off the seacoast where 
they are smart, highly intelligent, but they know only the culture that 
they grew up in. So they may not know how to make a subject and verb 
agree properly, and, therefore, when they go off to college, would have 
to take a remedial course in order to get those subjects and verbs to 
agree. But they are very bright, very smart students, and they have 
been intentionally undereducated by the States that many of them come 
out of.
  I know, for more than 20 years, the Legislature in South Carolina did 
not fund these schools properly, and we went before the State supreme 
court. That case lasted for over 20 years, and recently the Supreme 
Court decided to take the school districts from under that order that 
it issued some time ago.
  So these communities have been intentionally underfunded for their 
public schools, and these students graduate high school, go off to 
college, and they need the nurturing that they get from an HBCU.
  So if anybody tells you that HBCUs are unconstitutional, that ought 
to tell you all you need to know to stay away from that person.
  I want to close by talking up my alma mater, South Carolina State 
University. There are a lot of good things to consider about South 
Carolina State, but one is this, and I want all of you to go and check 
the record.
  You will find, if you check all the schools in the country that have 
produced general officers in the military, general officers of color, 
you will find that South Carolina State University, and South Carolina 
State College before it, has produced more African-American general 
officers than any other school in the country, and that includes the 
service academies.
  I am very proud of what HBCUs have done, I am very proud of that HBCU 
that I attended, and I am very proud that Sister Alma Adams, who co-
chairs the HBCU Caucus, has allowed me to speak about it this evening.
  Ms. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman from South 
Carolina, and I can certainly associate myself with those remarks that 
you spoke about with Ron McNair. I, too, enrolled at North Carolina A&T 
not fully prepared, but they made a committed investment in me, and I 
was able to go on and receive my Ph.D. from the Ohio State University 
only because of North Carolina A&T, an HBCU which has done so much for 
all of our students.
  I want to acknowledge Elizabeth City State University; Fayetteville 
State University; North Carolina A&T, my

[[Page H9787]]

alma mater twice; North Carolina Central University; Winston-Salem 
State University; Barber-Scotia College; Bennett College; Johnson C. 
Smith University, in my 12th district; Livingstone College; St. 
Augustine's University; and Shaw University. All of these colleges 
reside in North Carolina, and we are so very proud of the work that 
they are doing.

  Mr. Speaker, how much time do I have remaining?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from North Carolina has 1 
minute remaining.
  Ms. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, let me just thank all of my colleagues for 
coming out tonight and to say that we are certainly very proud of our 
schools, and we celebrate them tonight and every day. We acknowledge 
the work that they have done. We acknowledge all of the corporate folks 
who have pledged to work with our HBCUs, our tech companies in 
connection with Howard University, and all of the other tech 
corporations that have stepped forward to help us and to help our 
schools and to continue to enable the young people who so ably deserve 
a college education are able to do that.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all of my colleagues who came tonight 
and those who will join us as we continue to work on behalf of 
Historically Black Colleges and Universities so that they not only 
continue to survive, but that they thrive.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to 
celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Historically Black Colleges and 
Universities (HBCUs). Nine HBCUs--Alabama State University, Barber-
Scotia College, Fayetteville State University, Howard University, 
Johnson C. Smith University, Morehouse College, Morgan State 
University, St. Augustine's University, and Talladega College, 
celebrate 150 years of excellence this year.
  HBCUs are pillars of the black community and important contributors 
to the strength of our nation. 40 percent of the Congressional Black 
Caucus (CBC) are graduates from one or more HBCUs and with their 
representation they continue to remind us of the importance of fighting 
for these institutions. HBCUs not only provide a college education for 
300,000 students every year, but they are economic powerhouses. Since 
2017 HBCUs have generated an annual economic impact of $14.8 billion 
annually--nearly $5 billion higher than in 2006.
  I've seen the substantial impact of HBCUs in my district by the 
example Paul Quinn College has set. Paul Quinn College plays a major 
role in the economic success of its graduates by enhancing their 
education, training and leadership skills. A college degree opens the 
door to economic prosperity through greater employment and earnings 
potential. In fact, Paul Quinn College's class of 2014 can expect total 
earnings of $53 million over their lifetimes--that's 77 percent more 
than they could expect to earn without their college credentials.
  Paul Quinn College not only contributes to the economic success of 
its students, but it also provides a foundation for students to grow. 
Like many HBCUs, Paul Quinn College is committed to the holistic 
development of their students. Professors not only focus on academic 
excellence, but they also invest in the professional and individual 
development of their students.
  HBCUs will always be a prominent force in our nation. As a member of 
the Congressional Black Caucus I recognize the importance of its 
funding and legacy in our country. Please join me in recognizing the 
legacy of HBCUs across our country.