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State Reps. Pamela Hornberger and Joe Tate deliver testimony 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 plan would expand education opportunities for aspiring design students
RELEASE|October 27, 2021

State Rep. Pamela Hornberger, of Chesterfield Township, today delivered testimony before the House Education Committee in support of her 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 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.

“The re-opening of Pensole Lewis will give students opportunities that aren’t available anywhere else in the country, making Michigan more competitive,” Hornberger said. “The blending of these fantastic institutions will be a great asset to our state and our students with ambitions in the design world.  I am honored to be a sponsor of this legislation.”

Hornberger, who chairs the committee, partnered with Rep. Joe Tate, of Detroit, on the measure.

The plan was approved with unanimous support by the committee and now awaits consideration from the full House.

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