The End of the Line for St. Paul’s College?

stpaul-copySt. Paul’s College, the historically Black college in Lawrenceville, Virginia, held its 125th commencement last month when 51 students earned degrees. Now we learn that it may well be its last. The college  has informed the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools that is will cease operations as of June 30.

The college, founded in 1888, is affiliated with the Episcopal Church. Last fall, it was notified that it would lose its accreditation. In November, St. Augustine’s University, another HBCU in Raleigh, North Carolina, that is also affiliated with the Episcopal Church, announced that it was exploring the possibility of taking over the operation of St. Paul’s and merging the two institutions. But in May, St. Augustine’s University president Dianne Boardley Suber called off the planned merger saying that “the acquisition of Saint Paul’s College, at this time, would significantly challenge the fiscal stability of Saint Augustine’s University.”

St. Paul’s College immediately began what it termed “an urgent appeal to alumni and friends” to raise enough money to keep the college from closing down. The campaign titled “The Time Is Now: The Legacy Is Forever” was more than $400,000 short of its goal after raising $185,000 in the month of May.

The university has told students that it will assist them in transferring to other institutions of higher education. University officials stated that they hope the closing is temporary and that some way can be found to reopen the college.

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Comments (7)

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  1. Renee Escoffery-Torres says:

    The rich legacy of St. Paul’s College will continue long after its doors close. Boasting stellar faculty, including Edward Alexander Bouchet, the first African American to earn a PhD in the United States (in Physics, Yale University), the unrelenting dream of James Solomon Russell will live on in the hearts and minds of those who attended, graduated, and supported the struggling HBCU.Thanks to all who tried to save her…as a Black Episcopalian, I remember giving dollars to St. Paul as a little girl. And as a product of HBCUs (Hampton, VSU, UMES) this saddens me on so many levels.

  2. Carmen Charlemagne says:

    This is horrible. After an institution being open for so long and acquiring so much legacy, it’s a shame it has to close down.

  3. Howard L Simmons, PhD says:

    BLACK COLLEGES LIKE SAINT PAUL’S MAY DESERVE TO EDUCATE YOUNG BLACK ADULTS A LITTLE LONGER THAN THE TIME GIVEN THEM BY THE SOUTHEASTERN ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES. BUT NO MATTER HOW GOOD IT IS AS AN INSTITUTION, IT WILL BE DIFFICULT TO STAND UP AGAINST THE NO. ONE ISSUE: THAT IS, CASH! WE ALL ARE INTERESTED IN THE VITALITY AND VIABILITY OF INSTITUTIONS, BUT THEY MUST CREATE AN ENDOWMENT TO KEEP EVERYTHING AT AN EVEN KEEL. HOWARD L SIMMONS,PhD

  4. Tweety says:

    Of course, they’ll appeal to Whites to set up an endowment. And naturally leftist Whites will contribute due to their false guilt.

  5. don from down south says:

    COME ON PEOPLE!!! This is a tragedy of EPIC proportion!!! As would be said on the street,and I quote”DIS IS SUM B-LLSH-T!!!(I’d like to buy a vowel.) We as A PEOPLE have in 2013 over 1 trillion US dollars flowing through our hands and yet we do not take 10% of our funds to support ALL of these wonderfully critical institutions such as St.Paul’s College. Listen, it is far more advantageous to maintain such icons than to start from scratch.

  6. David J. Fagan says:

    I thank you all for your kind thoughts toward my beloved alma mater. However, a quick google search will show that the school’s primary debtor, Bank of America, drained the endowment to pay off their debt. What that means is that the Board of Trustees still own the physical campus, most of the debt has been eliminated, but there is no endowment. There is hope for the future.
    I would like to note that SPC did the honorable thing for it’s students by closing now, when all conferred degrees were accredited instead of operating in a non-accredited status.

    • MEW says:

      I pray that St. Paul’s College will reopen. This is a college full of history. Let’s all try to do something, because we don’t want this to happen to other HBCUs.

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