The South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus Celebrates HBCU Day in South Carolina
Tuesday, February 21, 2023, marked the second Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Day in South Carolina.
Governor Henry McMaster signed bill H.4575 into law in 2022 that established the day for the Palmetto State. It is now celebrated annually on the third Tuesday of every February.
Students and leaders from across the state’s HBCUs joined alums in the legislature at the State House for the occasion. Attendees marked the history and contribution of HBCUs to South Carolina.
South Carolina has eight HBCUs, 2 public and 6 private (Allen University, Benedict College, Claflin University, Clinton College, Denmark Technical College, Morris College, South Carolina State University, and Voorhees College). The Higher Education Act of 1965, defines an HBCU as: “…any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans.”
HBCUs, in general, are responsible for more than 40 percent of Black engineers, including 47 percent of Black women engineers, 70 percent of Black doctors and dentists, 50 percent of Black lawyers, and 80 percent of Black judges.
In South Carolina, an HBCU graduate working full time can expect to earn $913,000 in additional income due to having college credentials.
Together, those HBCUs generate roughly $463 million in economic impact for the state and generate close to 5,000 jobs, split evenly between on-campus and off-campus jobs. Each $1 million initially spent by a South Carolina HBCU and its students creates 12 jobs.
Rep. Ivory Thigpen (D) said, “We were a leader in not only founding HBCUs but training our people that they might be leaders, not just of today but of tomorrow.”
HBCU students were also recognized by lawmakers on the House and Senate floors during the sessions Tuesday.
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