The Lewis College of Business, which was founded in 1928, began operation in Detroit in 1939, lost accreditation in 2007, and closed in 2013, was the only historically Black educational institution in the state of Michigan.
Now Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed legislation authorizing the college to reopen as the Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design as an accredited educational corporation authorized by the State of Michigan. The college will be the nation’s first-ever reinstated HBCU. Opening March 2022, Pensole Lewis College will offer programs across design, sustainability, business, STEM, and more, serving young Black creatives across industries.
D’Wayne Edwards, the founder of the Pensole Design Academy in Portland, Oregon, is leading the effort and will serve as president. “I am proud to play a part in helping reopen the Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design in Detroit,” Edwards stated. “I am committed to expanding educational opportunities for Michiganders across our state to put Michigan first.”
The college will be housed on the campus of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Financial support is being provided by Target stores and the Gilbert Family Foundation.
“Detroit now has the first HBCU anywhere to reopen,” said Mike Duggan, mayor of Detroit. “As a predominantly Black city, this helps send a clear message that we are building one city, for everyone with opportunity for everyone.”