President Obama Signs Bill Granting Central State UniversityLong-Overdue Federal Land Grant Status

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Thurgood Marshall College Fund Applauds Bipartisan Passage of Farm Bill

Washington, DC (February 7, 2014) – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) applauds Congress on its bipartisan passage of the Farm Bill that includes approving Central State University (CSU) as a Land Grant University, said TMCF President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.

The provision, included in the five-year Farm Bill, passed by both the House and Senate, was signed into law today by President Obama. Central State has sought land-grant status since 1890, when the federal government named more than a dozen historically black colleges and universities as land grant colleges. CSU President, Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, testified that this approval would help encourage research and new partnerships with other land grant colleges and would serve as a recruitment tool for the university.

"The passage of the Farm Bill, to include designating Central State University as a land grant college, is correcting an omission that goes back to 1890, when CSU initially sought land grant status,” said Taylor. “With this designation CSU will be poised to significantly increase student and faculty research and enhance its role in creating jobs in the State of Ohio.”

Reps. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, Marcia Fudge, D-Cleveland and Joyce Beatty, D-Jefferson Township was among those who worked on the final legislation. When CSU first sought land grant status over 120 years ago, it was intense political wrangling that denied CSU this designation. In a recent interview with Dayton Daily News, Turner said, “As Ohio's only public Historically Black College and University, this designation is long overdue. It is fitting that my Ohio colleagues in both the House and the Senate worked on a bipartisan, bicameral basis to see this through."

Ohio State University was the only state public land grant institution for over 120 years and has continuously received billions of dollars in support. This Farm Bill will now allow CSU to qualify for federal grants and awards for agricultural research and development.

“I want to applaud the efforts of the Ohio General Assembly and the leaders in the U.S. House and Senate who are responsible for this historic event," said Taylor. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Black History Month than with this long overdue designation.”

About the Thurgood Marshall College Fund
TMCF is named for the U.S. Supreme Court's first African-American Justice. Established in 1987, TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending its 47 member-schools that include public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), medical schools and law schools nation-wide and in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Through its scholarships and programs, TMCF plays a key role in preparing the leaders of tomorrow. TMCF is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF and its initiatives, visit www.ThurgoodMarshallCollegeFund.org.