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State Reps. Pamela Hornberger and Joe Tate delivered testimony on Oct. 27 before the House Education Committee 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.

House approves Rep. Hornberger’s plan to expand education opportunities for aspiring design students
RELEASE|November 10, 2021

The Michigan House today approved 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).

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 an 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), founded by Dr. Violet Lewis in 1928, was designated by the U.S. Secretary of Education as an HBCU in 1987. For LCB to reopen in partnership with Pensole Design Academy and CCS, changes in state law are needed.

“This legislation will create opportunities in Michigan that are not available to students anywhere else in the country. The Pensole-Lewis education model is unique. Their partnerships with designers and businesses across the globe will make Michigan students more competitive and desirable,” said Hornberger, of Chesterfield Township.

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

The plan now moves to the state Senate for further consideration.

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