Michigan is inching closer to reopening the first and only Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the state.
This week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bill 5447 and House Bill 5448 to facilitate the reopening of the Lewis College of Business as the Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design in Detroit.
“I am proud to play a part in helping reopen the Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design in Detroit,” Governor Whitmer said in a statement. “I am committed to expanding educational opportunities for Michiganders across our state to put Michigan first.”
Rep. Joe Tate, D – Detroit, and Rep. Pamela Hornberger, R – Chesterfield sponsored the bills.
“I was proud to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle and the governor to have an HBCU back in the city of Detroit,” Tate said in a statement. “I look forward to seeing the Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design create valuable opportunities for its students and businesses across Michigan and Detroit.”
The Lewis College of Business was open in Detroit from 1939 until 2013. The college first received its HBCU designation in 1987, and the reopening school is requesting HBCU recognition from the state.
Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design is scheduled to open in 2022 on the campus of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, the future president of the Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design and founder of the Pensole Design Academy in Oregon, added, “Our goal is to celebrate Violet T. Lewis’ life’s work she established in the city of Detroit in 1939. Today moves us forward to another major step in continuing her legacy with the support of our founding partners College for Creative Studies, Target and The Gilbert Family Foundation.”
Mayor Mike Duggan of Detroit added, “As a predominantly Black city, this helps send a clear message that we are building one city, for everyone with opportunity for everyone.”