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State Reps. Pamela Hornberger and Joe Tate delivered testimony in October on their plan to recognize and re-open the Lewis College of Business, Michigan’s first Historically Black College, as the Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design.

Rep. Hornberger’s plan to expand education opportunities for aspiring design students advances to governor’s desk
RELEASE|December 14, 2021

State Rep. Pamela Hornberger’s plan to recognize and re-open the Lewis College of Business, Michigan’s first and only Historically Black College and University (HBCU), has advanced to the governor’s desk.

The plan would allow a partnership between the former Lewis College of Business School in Detroit, the Pensole Design Academy, formerly located in Portland, Oregon, and the College of Creative Studies (CCS) to form the Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design in Detroit.

To be classified as a HBCU, an institution must have a principal mission of educating black Americans, be established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and meet certain accreditation requirements. The Lewis College of Business (LCB) was designated by the U.S. Secretary of Education as an HCBU in 1987. For LCB to reopen in partnership with Pensole Design Academy and CCS, changes in state law are needed.

“Reopening Pensole Lewis provides students with opportunities that aren’t available anywhere else in the country, making our state stand out and become even more competitive in the education sector,” said Hornberger, of Chesterfield Township. “Combining these two exceptional institutions is a fantastic asset for Michigan students with ambitions in the design field.”

Hornberger, who chairs the House Education Committee, partnered with Rep. Joe Tate, of Detroit, on the measures.

The plan, House Bill 5447-5448, now moves to the governor’s desk for consideration.

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