U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-AR 2nd District) paid a visit to Philander Smith College on Monday, April 5th to hold a public affairs forum with students, faculty and administrators. The Congressman spoke about a range of issues including public-private partnerships, investment in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), student loan debt repayment programs, and the need for allied health care professionals in Central Arkansas, among other topics.
In his fourth term, Hill serves as the Co-Chair to the Bipartisan and Bicameral Congressional HBCU Caucus. In 2019, he hosted a summit on HBCUs in Little Rock that attracted participants from across the state and nation. He also supported the permanent reauthorization of more than $250 million in funding for HBCUs.
“We appreciate the focus and work of Congressman Hill in support of the nation’s most venerable institutions,” said Philander Smith College President Roderick Smothers Sr. “He has certainly been an unwavering advocate of Arkansas’s HBCU delegation, so it is not surprising that he would engage our scholars in dialogue about critical issues impacting their lives and our communities.”
The Congressman praised Philander Smith for its history of preparing young people for careers that will allow them to benefit not only Central Arkansas but communities across the nation. He also encouraged students to communicate the “value proposition” of HBCUs to corporate entities as they seek professional opportunities.
“I have been a champion for HBCU schools and students, and I am excited to continue to serve the HBCU communities in Congress,” Hill said.
Hill engaged with students at the invitation of Dr. Daniel Egbe, Chair of the Division of Social Sciences at Philander Smith College. Several PSC students greeted Hill, including SGA President Keilan Patterson, SGA Chaplain J’Nya Thompson, Miss PSC Jerrin Cooper, and Mister PSC Terrian Livingston. Sophomore Class President Imri Davis introduced the Congressman.