From left: 11th Congressional District Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (D-11), a Warrensville Heights Democrat and also chair of the Congressional Black Caucus of Blacks in Congress, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a Cleveland Democrat, Central State University President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, and Connie Harper, the greater Cleveland alumni chapter president for Central State University and associate publisher and senior editor at the Call and Post Newspaper, Ohio's most prominent Black print press.
By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Most Read Online Black Newspaper and Newspaper Blog. Tel: 216-659-0473. (Kathy Wray Coleman is a 20-year investigative and political journalist and legal reporter who trained for 17 years under five different editors at the Call and Post Newspaper, Ohio's most prominent Black press)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Thomas Vilsack visited the campus of Central State University in Ohio on Oct 7 to celebrate the university’s designation as an “1890 Land Grant Institution” – a designation secured following the efforts of U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH-11) in the 2014 Farm Bill.
CSU joined 18 other historically Black colleges and universities focused on agricultural programming.
Both Fudge and Brown fought to secure designation of CSU in the 2014 Farm Bill and said yesterday that they applaud the designation.
"It is fitting for the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to visit and ceremoniously honor the university with the designation and showcase why it is deserving of the distinction,” said Fudge, a Warrensville Heights Democrat and chairperson of the Congressional Black Caucus of Blacks in Congress.
Sen Brown said that the designation is long overdue.
“As one of the nation’s oldest historically Black universities, it is fitting that Central State University has received this long overdue designation as an 1890 land-grant university,” Brown said. “Now, thanks to the 2014 Farm Bill, Central State University can continue to take an active role in promoting agriculture research and education and providing new opportunities for students to obtain jobs in Ohio’s leading industry.
A Cleveland Democrat, Brown thanked Secretary Vilsack for his support of CSU and his leadership at USDA.
“As one of the oldest historically Black Colleges and universities (HBCUs), and the only public university of its kind in Ohio, Central State University has deservedly joined the rank of other HBCUs as an 1890 Land Grant Institution after pursuing the designation for more than a century," said Brown.
Brown and Fudge announced last year that CSU was added to a distinguished list of historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) focused on expanding opportunities for agricultural research and education, commonly referred to as “1890 Universities”. This status allows Central State University to increase educational programming and partnership opportunities within Ohio’s agriculture industry.
Connie Harper, the associate publisher and executive editor of the Call and Post Newspaper in Ohio, is president of the greater Cleveland CSU alumni chapter. She too lobbied for her alma mater to gain the designation status needed to effectively compete in the 21st century.
CSU was established in 1887 and is located in Wilberforce, Ohio. It is Ohio's only historically Black publicly funded university or college.
The president of CSU said in a press release that she is elated with the designation and complimented Fudge for her efforts in helping to bring the distinction to fruition.
"Sincere appreciation is extended to Congresswoman Marcia Fudge and her staff, whose efforts were pivotal in garnering support among members of Congress across the country," said Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, president of Central State University. "As Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Representative Fudge clearly understands the important role that Central State University plays in affording educational opportunities for Ohio students, especially
under -served populations."
under -served populations."
The university president also thanked Sen. Brown.
"Central State University, the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and students are immensely grateful for Senator Sherrod Brown’s leadership, the perseverance and his dedication in support of CSU receiving land-grant status," said Jackson-Hammond.
The Morrill Act of 1862 created a network of land-grant universities throughout the United States focused on providing increased access to higher education in the fields of agriculture and mechanical arts. The Act was expanded upon in 1890 creating a network of historically black land-grant universities. Currently, historically black land-grant universities enroll annually more than 40 percent of all students in all HBCUs. This designation will allow Central State University the possibility to expand into agriculture research areas such as water resources management, minority, women and small farmer’s education, and other agriculture-related programming. (www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)