Since no place in the United States would allow their doors to be opened to educate freed slaves, freed blacks, supporters  and the like took the obligation upon themselves to educate the freed race to read and write.

Inasmuch, that’s the story of the founding of Simmons College in Louisville, Kentucky, and several other institutions of higher education across the nation known today as historically black colleges or universities (HBCUs). Earlier this month, Simmons College learned that it has been accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE).

As a result Simmons College becomes the nation’s 107th HBCU.

[The Higher Education Act of 1965 defines an HBCU as “…any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964” with the intention of serving the black community.]

“Simply put, accreditation is value,” said Simmons College President Kevin Cosby. “It is proof that Simmons has met national standards necessary to produce graduates who are prepared to enter into selected professions.”

President Kevin Cosby: “The accreditation of Simmons College of Kentucky will have a ripple effect throughout west Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky and is the most monumental achievement, by African Americans, to take place in the state in the last 100 years.”

At an event Feb. 24, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who also visited historically black Howard University in Washington last spring, delivered remarks as Simmons celebrated its major milestone.

“Simmons College has a rich history that stretches over a hundred years,” Paul said.

“…There’s no greater equalizer than education. My hope is that Simmons College continues this proud tradition.”

For an institution of higher education whose principle mission as an HBCU is to educate African-Americans, Simmons College has plenty of disadvantaged and underserved people to reach. The four-acre campus is in the heart of a population of low-income, first generational college students with limited resources to attend college.

Tommy Meade Jr. is HBCU Buzzs Editor-in-chief. Join the discussion and comment below. 

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