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Maryland’s largest historically black college named a National Treasure

Morgan State and the National Trust have partnered in the name of preservation

Morgan State University can now add the title of National Treasure to its long list of accolades.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation designated the honor to the Historically Black College and University on Tuesday, which sparks the beginning of a partnership between the two.

The designation will include an $110,000 grant from the National Trust and a plan that will preserve the HBCU’s historic buildings while planning for the university’s future. The plan will stand as a blueprint to preserve other National Treasures.

Morgan State joins a growing portfolio of historic sites and is the second HBCU, along with Howard University in Washington, D.C., where the National Trust for Historic Preservation is actively working.

Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust said the organization believes HBCUs tell an important and often overlooked American story.

“We are proud to partner with Morgan State University — a nationally recognized innovator and education leader — to demonstrate how the preservation of their remarkable older buildings can be a springboard for growth, rejuvenation and revitalization,” Meeks said.

The National Trust has worked with Congress to get historic preservation funding for HBCUs reauthorized — securing more than $61 million in the restoration of historic buildings on HBCU campuses.

“We are very excited and honored by this designation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In many ways, it is recognition of the value we have placed on caring for and preserving the history of the great Morgan State University,” said David Wilson, president of Morgan State University.

Morgan State was founded in 1867 and features 20 contributing structures in its historic landscape. The buildings were designed by black architects such as Albert Cassell, Hilyard Robinson, Louis Fry, and Leon Bridges. The university has made strides to preserve portions of the campus, including the restoration of University Memorial Chapel, the only building individually listed on the National Register at present.

Kelley Evans is a digital producer at Andscape. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic Southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.