[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 124, 111th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

 
PROCLAMATION 8557--SEPT. 10, 2010

Proclamation 8557 of September 10, 2010
National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, 2010
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation

Early in our Nation's history, higher education was not possible for
most African Americans, and simple lessons in reading and writing were
often conducted in secret. With a unique mission to meet the educational
needs of African Americans, Historically Black Colleges and Universities
(HBCUs) have been valued resources for our country since their inception
before the Civil War. Historically Black Colleges and Universities have
opened doors and cultivated dreams, and the contributions of their
founders, faculty, students, and graduates have shaped our growth and
progress as a Nation. During National Historically Black Colleges and
Universities Week, we honor these pillars of higher education in
America, and we pay tribute to those who have worked to realize their
promise.
Bastions of heritage and scholarship, HBCUs have produced African
American medical professionals, lawyers, educators, and public officials
throughout their history. Countless individuals have worked tirelessly
to cultivate HBCUs, and their legacy is seen in graduates whose
achievements adorn the pages of American history. From Booker T.
Washington to Mary McLeod Bethune, Dr. W.E.B. DuBois to the Reverend Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., HBCU visionaries and graduates have set
powerful examples of leadership, built our middle class, strengthened
our economy, served in our Armed Forces, and secured their place in the
American story.
HBCUs are important engines of economic growth and community service and
will continue to play a vital role in helping America achieve our goal
of having the highest proportion of college graduates

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in the world by 2020. This year, I was proud to sign an Executive Order
to strengthen the White House Initiative on HBCUs, which will
collaborate with government agencies, educational associations,
philanthropic organizations, the private sector, and other partners to
increase the capacity of HBCUs to provide the highest-quality education
to a greater number of students. Together, we will ensure HBCUs continue
fostering determination in their students, instilling pride in their
alumni, and adding rungs to our Nation's ladder of opportunity for
future generations.
During National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, we
celebrate the immeasurable contributions these crucibles of learning
have made to our Nation. As we continue strengthening the capacity of
HBCUs, let us also recommit to preserving and enriching their long
tradition of hope and success, and to sustaining our collective effort
to meet and exceed America's goals for educational excellence.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of
America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 12 through
September 18, 2010, as National Historically Black Colleges and
Universities Week. I call upon all public officials, educators,
librarians, and Americans to observe this week with appropriate
programs, ceremonies, and activities that acknowledge the tremendous
achievements HBCUs and their graduates have made to our country.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of
September, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the
Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-
fifth.
BARACK OBAMA