Louisville’s Simmons College of Kentucky has been officially designated as a Historically Black College and University, or HBCU.
The announcement, made Monday via Twitter by college President Kevin Cosby, makes Simmons College the second HBCU in Kentucky; Kentucky State University in Frankfort is the other.
Simmons College is a private biblical college that was founded in Louisville in 1879. The college was accredited last year by the Association for Biblical Education, and once accredited, it was eligible to apply to be an HBCU.
Simmons Executive Vice President Frank Smith said after 136 years of identifying as an African American institution, being officially recognized as an HBCU will be wonderful for both Simmons and Louisville.
The designation is made by the U.S. Department of Education.
“[The HBCU designation] grants us more visibility,” Smith said. “It grants our local city pride to know that we do have an official HBCU in our city. HBCUs speak typically to the educational attainment of African American’s historically, so cities that have them do better in the post-secondary academic achievement of African Americans. So we are poised to provide that notoriety for our local city here in Louisville, now.”
Simmons currently has 220 students enrolled, but Smith said enrollment is expected to increase to 350 by the fall.