ASU Gets $500-K Grant for G.W. Trenholm Hall

News Date
Trenholm George Washington Pres AS 1920-1925 (2).jpg
Image of George Washington (G.W.) Trenholm circa 1915 (ASU Special Collections).

ASU Awarded Second $500,000 Grant for Preservation of the University's Historic G.W. Trenholm Hall

By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU

Alabama State University has received a second award from the National Park Service (NPS) for renovation projects at the historic G. W. Trenholm Hall. The $500,000 NPS grant is part of 
an overall $2.5 million initiative to help preserve historic buildings on the campuses of the state of Alabama’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). 

The chairman of ASU's Department of History and Political Science, Dr. Derryn Moten, spearheaded both requests. 

"This is wonderful news for Alabama State University and for anyone who understands the importance of preserving one's past for future generations," Moten said. "This $500,000 grant further gives ASU an opportunity to both preserve and enhance one of the school's most important buildings." 


In a news release from Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-Alabama), she explains that in addition to ASU, the $2.5 million in funding will also impact Miles College, Selma University, Alabama A&M University and Stillman College. 

“This is a big win for Alabama! Alabama’s HBCUs have played such a pivotal role in shaping the history of our nation, and I was so proud to help make this funding available, which will be used to preserve these cherished institutions. As Vice-Chair of the Congressional HBCU Caucus, I am committed to ensuring the vitality of Alabama’s HBCUs. Fighting for funding like this will continue to be one of my top legislative priorities!” Sewell said in a news release. 

Sewell’s release also included a quote from NPS director, Chuck Sams: “For more than 180 years, Historically Black Colleges and Universities have provided high-level academics, opportunities, and community for generations of students. These grants enable HBCUs to preserve the noteworthy structures that honor the past and tell the ongoing story of these historic institutions.”


ASU's Moten stated that G.W. Trenholm Hall is one of the University's most historic buildings. 

"This building was the first-ever dedicated library on our Montgomery campus and is among the very first dedicated HBCU libraries in Alabama," stated Moten. "Not only has it seen decades of our students studying in it, but it was also used by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. -- in what was then its second-floor 'stacks'-- as he was writing his doctoral dissertation." 


The million dollars that the University has received was awarded in two separate NPS grants with the first coming in January of 2021. Moten says this most recent grant will renovate the building's Thelma Glass auditorium. 

The NPS allocation of funds is part of a $9.7 million investment made by the National Park Service for HBCUs nationwide. Congress appropriates funding for the program through the Historic Preservation Fund, which uses revenues received from federal oil and gas leases, without expending monies obtained from U.S. taxpayers. 


"I feel grateful to the National Park Service for allocating to ASU full funding amounts of $500,00 each for both grant cycles, which will allow us to preserve an important building on campus," Moten observed. "I also wish to thank Congresswoman Sewell for her leadership and her true faith in and loyalty to Alabama State University and for her dedication to all things HBCU." 

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.