Philander Smith College Receives $65,000 HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative Grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Philander Smith College is pleased to announce that a $65,000 grant to support a Rehabilitation Plan for the Sherman E. Tate Student Recreation Center is being awarded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a part of its HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative program. Included in the award is a $5,000 grant from the Wunsch Americana Foundation and Chipstone Foundation that will be used to support a professional development opportunity for a Philander Smith College student.

“Philander Smith College is fortunate to have a number of beautiful and historic buildings on its campus, including the Tate Student Recreation Center which is such an important gathering place for our scholars,” said PSC President Roderick L. Smothers. “These critical funds will aid in the efforts toward its restoration and rehabilitation as we work in tandem with our alumni and other partners to preserve it for future generations.”

“Congratulations . . . The work your institution is doing to preserve its historic resources to tell the full American story is energizing and inspiring. We are looking forward to this new partnership and working with Philander Smith College,” said Katherine Malone France, Chief Preservation Officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Philander Smith College is only one of eight HBCUs across the nation to receive this inaugural grant. HBCUs have long been underfunded as a result of decades of structural racism and lack of equitable public funding, said Brent Leggs, executive director of the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, which is supplying the grants. He added, “They stand as a living testament to African American history and the ongoing achievements of highly influential Americans, but they continue to be overlooked and underfunded.”


About Philander Smith College:  Founded in 1877, Philander Smith College is one of the oldest private, historically Black institutions of higher learning in Arkansas. A four-year liberal arts college, the institution is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is the only United Negro College Fund member school in the state. The College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of NCA.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately funded, nonprofit organizationbased in Washington, D.C., that works in the field of historic preservation in the United States. The member-supported organization was founded in 1949 by congressional charter to support the preservation of America’s diverse historic buildings, neighborhoods, and heritage through its programs, resources, and advocacy.