Tuesday, Governor Henry McMaster signed into law a bill that honors the contributions and efforts of historically Black colleges and universities.
He signed H.4575, which officially designates the third Tuesday of February each year as “Historically Black Colleges and Universities Day” in South Carolina.
The bill, introduced by South Carolina State graduate Rep. Deon Tedder (D-Charleston & Dorchester), was passed unanimously in the South Carolina Senate last week.
“We are sending a message today that HBCUs matter,” Tedder said during the news conference.
There are eight HBCUs in South Carolina, two public and six private. 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.”
Each of these HBCUs generates approximately $463 million in economic impact for the state and close to 5,000 jobs, evenly distributed between on-campus and off-campus positions. HBCUs and their students create 12 jobs for every $1 million initially spent.
HBCUs produce 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.
An HBCU graduate in South Carolina working full time can expect to earn an additional $913,000 with college credentials.
“This is a historic moment,” McMaster said. “The reason South Carolina is so strong, one of the reasons, is because of the contributions of our HBCUs.”