Elizabeth City State University received three grants totaling $1.575 million dollars from the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) to restore two campus historical landmarks. The grants are from two HPF programs: the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and the African American Civil Rights (AACR) grant programs. The funding will support the university’s Rosenwald Practice School and Principal’s House.
Two $750,000 grants will be used to rehabilitate ECSU’s Rosenwald Practice School building and Principal’s House, both completed in 1922. Together, the buildings will house the future Northeastern North Carolina African American Research and Cultural Heritage Institute. These facilities will serve as educational and interpretive sites where students and community members will preserve, protect, and interpret the history of African American pursuits of education in the segregated South. A separate $75,000 award will be used to research, design, build, and install exhibits in the rehabilitated buildings. The new grant work will build on previous planning and design work completed with 2019 grants awarded by the National Park Service and the Institute of Museum of Library Services.
ECSU’s HBCU grant is part of the NPS HBCU program that awarded a total of $9.7 million for 14 projects in 10 states with funds appropriated by the U.S. Congress in fiscal year 2022 for use in the fund's HBCU grant program. The university also received two AACR grants with funding from the Historic Preservation Fund’s African American Civil Rights grant program that provided $21 million to 37 projects in 16 states. This program funds preservation projects and efforts of sites tied to the struggle of African Americans to gain equal rights.
“These awards are a testament to the essential role ECSU has played in the African American history of northeastern North Carolina. They will allow us to bring new life to two century old campus buildings and provide educational and cultural enrichment to our campus and community,” said Dr. Melissa N. Stuckey, the award’s principal investigator and assistant professor of History at ECSU.
“ECSU's rich history and legacy are the foundation of this institution.” said Dr. Karrie G. Dixon, ECSU Chancellor. “These notable grants from the National Park Service will provide Dr. Stuckey with the opportunity to continue her passionate work in restoring these historically significant buildings, ensuring our story of excellence is protected and shared with future generations.”
Stuckey is a noted national historian. Over the past five years, she has been awarded over $2.1 million dollars for her work to preserve and restore the Principal’s House and ECSU’s Rosenwald School. Additionally, in October 2022, she led the historic marker unveiling honoring ECSU alumna and Women’s Suffrage leader Annie E. Jones, by working with the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites and William G. Pomeroy Foundation on the historic marker that memorializes the U.S. women’s suffrage movement.