Morgan State University’s picturesque campus was named a national treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. (Courtesy photo)
Morgan State University, on May 3, was named a national treasure, a designation that aims to provide the school with funds to preserve the institution’s storied buildings.
The HBCU was named a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization. Morgan shares this honor with only one other HBCU, Howard University in Washington D.C., whose library was named a national treasure earlier this year.
The National Trust’s President and CEO, Stephanie Meeks said in a statement, “The National Trust believes that historically Black colleges and universities tell an important and often overlooked American story.” She added, “We are proud to partner with Morgan State University, a nationally-recognized innovator and education leader.”
Morgan State University dates back to 1867, when it was established as one of the earliest institutions to offer post-secondary education for African Americans. Among the many notable alumni and alumnae are former US representative Kweisi Mfume, acclaimed novelist Zora Neal Hurston and Academy Award winning actress Monique.
The campus is home to an impressive collection of historical buildings that were designed by pioneering and celebrated Black architects such as Albert Cassell, Hilyard Robinson, Louis Fry, and Leon Bridges.
“We have known of Morgan’s significance on the higher education stage for many years and now, as we prepare to celebrate our 150th anniversary, the world will know that, in fact, this university is a national treasure,” said David Wilson, president of Morgan State University, in a statement. “We are very excited and honored by this designation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In many ways, it is recognition of the value we have placed on caring for and preserving the history of the great Morgan State University.”
Under the agreement Morgan and the National Trust will produce a preservation plan that will preserve the many historical buildings on campus, while planning for the university’s future.
The National Trust has already worked with Congress to get Historic Preservation Funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Over the years more than $61 million has been reauthorized and secured for the restoration of historic buildings on HBCU campuses.