Plans underway to reopen Michigan’s only historically Black college

Detroit Landscape
Posted at 5:05 PM, Oct 12, 2021

(WXYZ) — Plans are underway to reopen Michigan’s only HBCU.

The PENSOLE Lewis College of Business is the brainchild of Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, founder of the PENSOLE Design Academy in Oregon, and a stockholder of the previously closed HBCU in Detroit, Lewis College of Business.

Pending state legislation and government redesignation, the school will become the first HBCU to focus on design in the United States, according to a press release.

The PLC has partnered with the College for Creative Studies and is slated to open in March of 2022. The founding supporters include The Gilbert Family Foundation and retailer Target.

“The Lewis College of Business was first created in 1928 as a secretarial school for Black women. After relocating to Detroit in 1939, it became a critical source of economic impact for the city’s Black community. GM, Ford, and Michigan Bell hired their first Black office employees from the school. 82 years later, and 14 years since it lost its accreditation as HBCU, I am honored to be resurrecting Violet T. Lewis’s legacy in Detroit,” says Dr. Edwards in a press release.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan welcomed the news.

“As a predominantly Black city, Detroit should have an operating Historically Black College. Not having one has been a hole in our educational landscape for too long,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in a press release. “To have the first HBCU anywhere to reopen happen in Detroit would be a tremendous demonstration of how our city is coming back as a city of opportunity for people of color.”

The PLC will be located in the CCS’s A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education until its permanent Detroit home is selected. Enrollment in the PENSOLE Lewis program is expected to be open in December.