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National Park Service awards Alcorn $500,000 for Chapel renovations

Alcorn State University is one of several HBCUs in 10 states to receive funding to preserve their historic structures.

The National Park Service (NPS) donated $9.7 million in grants to assist 20 preservation projects for historic structures on HBCU campuses in 10 states. Alcorn received $500,000 for renovations to the Oakland Memorial Chapel.

The Chapel is 183 years old, making it the oldest building on Alcorn’s Lorman campus.

“The Chapel is near and dear to the hearts of our alumni, so we are honored and thrilled to be the recipient of this grant to preserve this beautiful and historic landmark on our campus,” said Alcorn President Dr. Felecia M. Nave. “As the University’s signature building, it has represented a beacon of opportunity for generations. For 150 years, Alcorn State University transcended all expectations while offering a transformative education to tens of thousands of talented students.”

“HBCUs have been an important part of the American education system for more than 180 years, providing high-level academics, opportunities, and community for generations of students,” said NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge. “The National Park Service’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities Grant Program provides assistance to preserve noteworthy structures that honor the past and tell the ongoing story of these historic institutions.”

Since 1995, the NPS has awarded $77.6 million in grants to 66 HBCUs. Congress appropriates funding for the program through the Historic Preservation Fund, which uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf to provide assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars. The Historically Black Colleges and Universities grant program is funded by the Historic Preservation Fund and administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior.