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ASU Represented at White House Summit on HBCUs

Image associated with the ASU Represented at White House Summit on HBCUs news item

Author: Hazel Scott

Release Date: Oct 04, 2017

The White House Initiative on HBCUs Summit provided an opportunity for leaders and students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to network with federal agencies and other potential partners on a national level.

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The White House hosted the annual summit, which was billed as an opportunity for HBCUs to meet with federal agencies, businesses, philanthropic groups and others.  The Initiative’s All-Stars, which included student ambassadors from some of the other colleges, were honored at the event.

Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr., who became ASU’s 15th president on Oct. 3, said he attended the conference as a “volunteer alum” because he realized the significance of the event to Alabama State University.

“It was a wonderful opportunity.  A wealth of knowledge was gained.” Ross said.   “Meeting other presidents from other places that have taken advantage of opportunities that the Federal Government provides was very fruitful and meaningful.  Being a new president, it’s important to go and hear and get the information that would be beneficial to Alabama State University and its students.”

ASU All-Star David L. King Jr., a senior majoring in political science with a minor in public administration, said his experience in Washington D.C. and the White House was beyond phenomenal.

“I think that it was again, a humbling experience to be among student leaders who were about their business and knew the issues and what needed to be done to change the world and tackle those issues. As I plan to one day be the President of the United States, I very well think I was in a room filled with the next Secretaries in Presidential cabinets, Executive Directors of federal agencies and federal departments. I think our 2017-18 cohort most definitely will change this nation, and for our institutions provide a foundation for advancing and excelling beyond what we've done,” King said.
Ross said it’s imperative that he and his colleagues engage with officials in Washington.
“It’s important to interface with officials from federal agencies …to see how we can take advantage of the programs they have for our students. I think it’s also an excellent opportunity to listen to ways that the USDA is opening up opportunities for HBCUs outside of those land-grant institutions.”

HBCU presidents, Ross said, hope to gain federal funding for infrastructure, college readiness, financial aid, student benefits and other priorities.

“It’s an opportunity to seek monies for many things including  federal funding for  possible campus housing,  student aid,  low-interest loans  for housing projects,  and student-centered projects ” Ross said. “The Project Success program carries an emergency aid fund to help current students and students going to college succeed as they matriculate through an institution. The service is free.  Dr. Haygood was able to talk with some of those individuals about how they can get them involved with our student  services at Alabama State University.”

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