PINE BLUFF, AR – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) announced it has received a $2.2 million gift from the Windgate Foundation (Windgate) to establish the Windgate Foundation Scholarship Endowment and fund the John Miller Howard Art and Education Legacy Exhibition (Howard Exhibition) at the Leedell Moorehead-Graham Fine Arts Gallery at the UAPB Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts Center.

The scholarship endowment will provide funding each year to assist eligible students with education-related expenses. Entering and current students, pursuing any degree plan are now eligible to apply.

“It is always remarkable when organizations, such as Windgate, partner in our institution’s mission to assist students in reaching their educational and career goals. So it is with extreme gratitude and excitement that we enthusiastically accept this gift and thank Windgate for recognizing UAPB’s role in educating the next generation,” said Dr. Laurence B. Alexander, Chancellor of UAPB.

“Windgate Foundation is pleased to partner with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to create significant academic opportunities for student success. The Windgate Scholarship Endowment fits perfectly with UAPB’s mission of providing access and opportunity to academically deserving students and producing graduates who are equipped to excel through their contributions and leadership,” said Patricia Forgy, Windgate Foundation executive director.

The Howard Exhibition is named in honor of the late John Miller Howard, who was an artist, founder of the UAPB Department of Art and art educator at the university for four decades. The exhibition top open in the fall of 2020 and run through 2022, will feature Howard’s paintings, personal letters, collectibles, photos, and memoirs. Arkansas Delta region public and private schools will be invited to view the exhibit.

The Windgate Foundation is a private grant-making foundation established in 1993 and has awarded more than $698 million in grants.

About the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) is an 1890 Land-Grant HBCU with a diverse student population, competitive degree offerings and stellar faculty. For more than 140 years, UAPB has worked to create an environment that inculcates learning, growth and productivity while affording a basic need to its students – a chance to advance. UAPB offers Certificate and Associates degree programs, more than thirty undergraduate programs, master’s degree programs and a doctorate program in Aquaculture/Fisheries. Students are active in more than 100 organizations, an internationally renowned Vesper Choir, Marching Band, Concert Bands, Wind Symphony, nationally recognized debate team, award-winning theater department and accomplished athletic program. For more information, visit

PRAIRIE VIEW, TX – The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) a grant of $500,000 to support its effort to establish an African-American Studies Initiative which will be housed in its Marvin D. and June Samuel Brailsford College of Arts and Sciences. Inspired by the Mellon Foundation award, an anonymous donor pledged an added $250,000 to help fund this initiative. The generous donation is eligible for a $250,000 university match, bringing the total support for the initiative launch to $1 million.

According to an press release by the university, the project, Enhancing the Humanities at PVAMU Through African-American Studies Program Initiative, is designed to selectively infuse African-American Studies content throughout the university’s liberal art offerings. The initial concept for the program was conceived when Prairie View President Ruth J. Simmons called for the creation of an African-American Studies program in her first campus — wide address. Having directed Afro American Studies at Princeton and Chaired the African-American Studies Department Visiting Committee at Harvard, President Simmons expressed surprise and disappointment that, given the University’s cultural legacy, it did not have a formal program in African-American Studies.

The Enhancing the Humanities at PVAMU through an African-­‐American Studies Program Initiative

The primary intent of the proposed program is to infuse PVAMU’s STEM-focused university with curricular content and programming that emphasizes the centrality and benefit of the Humanities and Social Sciences in undergraduate education. Funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, along with additional gifts and donations, will allow faculty to revise and expand existing courses in the PVAMU Core Curriculum, in addition to developing new courses within and across the disciplines, to form and propose an African American Studies Program (AAS).

The initiative will provide an interdisciplinary study of the experiences of people of African descent in America and abroad. Scholarly activities will provide students, faculty and the PVAMU community with a fundamental understanding of the social economic, cultural and historical issues framing the contribution of African-American communities in America.

To ensure the success of the initiative, highly respected scholars will work with a select cohort of PVAMU faculty to act as advisors, assist in establishing program priorities, review core courses themes and hold public lectures and workshops reflecting their respective fields in African-American Studies.

“By strategically embedding African-American theme, based courses within the core curriculum, all students will have an opportunity to select courses that expand their academic interests while enhancing their engagement in the humanities,” explained James Palmer, interim provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs.

Potential consultants include:

Melanye Price, Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Rutgers University, (Lead Consultant, PVAMU Alumna);

Henry Louis Gates Jr, Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and American Research at Harvard University;

Paula J. Giddings, Elizabeth  A. Woodson 1922 Professor Emerita at Smith College;

Nell Irvin Painter, Edward Professor of American History Emerita at Princeton University;

W.G. Selassie l, Ralph Bunche Associate Professor of U.S. History and African American Studies at Los Angeles City College; and

Cornel West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University.

LOUISVILLE, KY – Simmons College of Kentucky received a significant donation and a big boost towards its mission, according to

On Friday, the College received $200,000 to help with its expansion and tuition assistance. Donors Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn say they weren’t familiar with Simmons College in the beginning.

“Simmons College to us is a symbol of hope for a lot of things. And it’s not just people and kids. It’s a symbol of hope for our whole community. It’s a symbol of hope for our growth. It’s a symbol of hope for where we want to go in life.” said D. Mark Lynn.

The college focuses on educating students in an urban setting and helping with financial assistance. Students, faculty and Mayor Greg Fisher were all on hand for the donation.



Founded in 1879, the State Convention purchased four acres of land in Louisville to serve the campus for the Kentucky Normal and Theological Institute.

Simmons College of Kentucky is well positioned for bright future as a thriving institution of higher learning serving traditionally underserved communities

For more information about Simmons College of Kentucky, visit