Morehouse, Spelman, and Prairie View University Receive $3 Million in Grants

Morehouse College, Prairie View A&M University, and Spelman College received $3 million in grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Rockefeller Foundation, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the development of faculty on their campuses.

Prairie View received $1 million from Mellon. Carnegie awarded $1 million to Morehouse and $500,000 to Spelman, which also received $500,000 from Rockefeller.

“Faculty are the heart of a liberal arts education. At historically black colleges and universities, heavy teaching loads often get in the way of professional development, time for research and/or creative production. Yet, time for these activities not only keeps faculty current in their fields but provides undergraduate research opportunities for our students,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman, said in a press release. “We are grateful for the foresight of the Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Mellon foundations in making this historic gift to Spelman, Morehouse and Prairie View. We anticipate using a portion of the funds as well to document and disseminate the innovative teaching strategies that have accounted for the academic success of Spelman students.”

The grants allow the colleges to provide an array of faculty support structures and require all three institutions to share best practices with each other and with the broader HBCU community.

“Our founder Andrew Carnegie was concerned about the lack of educational opportunities for African Americans. As a result, in 1900 he made a grant of $20,000 to Tuskegee University to fund the construction of its library, the first of 13 grants to the institution,” said Vartan Gregorian, Ph.D., president of Carnegie. “Throughout its history, Carnegie Corporation of New York has continued to invest in a range of organizations serving African Americans, including historically black colleges and universities, civil rights organizations, the National Urban League since 1921, the United Negro College Fund since 1946, as well as more recent grants to support reforms in K-12 and higher education. We are pleased to help ensure the future health and welfare of the faculties of our country’s HBCUs through these latest grants to Morehouse and Spelman colleges.”

Morehouse College plans on using the grant funds to support the new program, Modeling 21st Century Faculty Development at HBCUs. The program will help make the college more competitive in attracting and retaining top talent by providing monies for startup packages and robust opportunities for faculty growth and development.

Prairie View will use the funding from Mellon to continue enhancing the ranks of its faculty by identifying effective practices in faculty recruitment, advancement, and retention.

Spelman will use the grant to support faculty plans to grow the curriculum in areas of emerging importance and nurtures their trajectories as leaders on campus and in their respective fields. Spelman’s strategic plan identifies faculty as “The Spelman Difference” because the college’s distinguished and dedicated faculty are the drivers of student success.