Two months ago, D’Wayne Edwards set out to make higher education history by reopening the closed Lewis College of Business in Detroit with the goal of making it the first historically black college or university. country focused on design. This week, his efforts paid off, as Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design (PLC) was named Michigan’s first and only HBCU.
Yesterday Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the signing of House Bills 5447 and 5448, which will facilitate the reopening of Lewis College of Business as a Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design in Detroit. This will make it Michigan’s first and only HBCU.
“I am proud to play a role in the reopening of Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design in Detroit,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I am committed to expanding educational opportunities for Michiganders across our state to put Michigan first. “
Lewis College of Business, a Detroit-based HBCU founded by the late Violet T. Lewis, closed in 2013. Edwards, the founder of the famous Pensole Design Academy and future chairman of PLC, became the majority shareholder of school. On October 12, the school – which was renamed Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design – proposed legislation to have state clearance recognized as Michigan’s only HBCU. At the time, Edwards told FN the school could also become the very first HBCU to reopen in the country.
In October, the school revealed in a statement that it would work in partnership with the College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit to obtain the necessary legal and legislative approval to establish the Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design, which includes designation as an accredited educational institution. program. In addition, an agreement is being drafted to establish a joint venture between CCS and PLC to allow PLC to offer accredited educational programs.
Prior to moving to its own permanent campus in Detroit, PLC will be located in CCS’s A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education.
It will open in March 2022.
“Thanks to Governor Whitmer and all of our partners for helping the grandchildren of Violet T. Lewis, Pensole and College for Creative Studies establish an HBCU in the state of Michigan,” Edwards said in a statement released yesterday. . “Our goal is to celebrate Violet T. Lewis’ lifelong work that she established in the City of Detroit in 1939. Today we take another important step forward in continuing her legacy with the support of our founding partners College for Creative Studies, Target and The Gilbert Family Foundation.