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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Three Mississippi HBCUs Mentioned In Failed Closure Bill Receive Millions In State Funding


Seven public Mississippi universities are getting millions in funding from the state — including its three public HBCUs. According to the Clarion Ledger, Alcorn State University, Jackson State University, and Mississippi Valley State University are three of the seven schools receiving millions of dollars to put toward capital project spending.

Senate Bill 2468, which was signed into law by Gov. Tate Reeves last week, is an annual appropriations bill. A part of the bill transfers money to the “2022 IHL Capital Improvements Fund.” In total, the state is sending $110 million in funds to Mississippi’s Institution of Higher Learning, which oversees each of the state’s eight universities. The IHL is in charge of distributing the funds.

The funding comes after Senate Bill 2726 was introduced this past February, threatening the closure of three out of eight public universities by June 2025, with the closure mandated by 2028. The three Mississippi HBCUs: Alcorn State University, Jackson State University, and Mississippi Valley State were also mentioned in the bill. However, it failed to pass at the capitol weeks later.

Alcorn State University will receive $8,311,736 for repairs, renovation, and expansion to the Davey L. Whitney Complex. The gymnasium is the home of the Alcorn State University Braves men’s and women’s basketball teams and men’s and women’s volleyball teams. The Dave L. Whitney Complex, named after Alcorn State University’s legendary men’s basketball coach, is due to get upgrades.

Jackson State University, the largest of the three Mississippi HBCUs, is set for the largest allotment of all the schools on the list: $23,020,794. That money is for repairs, renovation, and upgrades to campus buildings and facilities, including McAllister-Whiteside Hall and other critical campus facilities. The monies will also be spent on the development of alternative water resources. A total of $7 million of JSU’s funds will go for the purchase of a new residence hall.

Mississippi Valley State University — the smallest of the three HBCUs — has been awarded $8,856,405 for the construction and furnishing of a new residence hall and related facilities. 

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