March 24, 2021
I am pleased to announce that on Wednesday, March 24 at 2:45 p.m., Bowie State University will welcome Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, along with Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones, for the official signing of the legislation to end the 15-year Maryland HBCU lawsuit. Just last week, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation to settle the federal lawsuit, brought by the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education, to address historic duplication of academic programs at Maryland HBCUs. As a result of the settlement, Bowie State University will receive $16.7 million in state funds in fiscal year 2023, and at least $9 million annually thereafter, through fiscal year 2032.
I invite you to view the official signing ceremony online to witness history and celebrate this important step to correct historic inequities in higher education in the state of Maryland.
I want to thank our Bowie State University supporters, especially our dedicated alumni and students, for lending their voices as advocates for change, demonstrating the important legacy and impact of our HBCUs to the state of Maryland. I commend House Speaker Jones and Senator Charles Sydnor for their leadership to bring about an equitable resolution to this long-standing lawsuit, as well as the efforts of the Legislative Black Caucus and other HBCU champions in the General Assembly.
This funding will bring much needed support to advance our Racing to Excellence Strategic Plan. It will enable us to accelerate academic innovation with new programs that build on our existing strengths, while also developing in other areas to attract new students to our campus. This promise of consistent new funding provides the foundation for transformational enhancements to assure that Bowie State University is positioned to prepare students for the workforce of tomorrow.
As one of the nation’s top 30 HBCUs, Bowie State University’s influence and impact in the region is great. Even as we look forward to the new state funding, the current work of our faculty in data analytics, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and other STEAM disciplines, as well as preparing teachers for an evolving educational landscape, are leading students to new career paths. Our ongoing efforts to infuse experiential learning and entrepreneurial thinking in and outside of the classroom will cultivate the next-generation of innovative thinkers and doers. We have begun planning for the summer 2021 grand opening of the Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community that will not only house more than 500 students, but will also become an innovation hub for our students, our entire campus community and the region.
With the expansion of these and other initiatives to come, Bowie State University will continue to be a beacon of hope and promise for those seeking to improve their families and communities through public higher education.