By the President of the United States of America
From Spelman to Fayetteville State, from Talladega to Texas Southern, historically black colleges and universities continue to play an essential role in our Nation's heritage. For too many years in America, these schools were the only institutions of higher learning open to young African Americans. With their steadfast dedication to excellence in education, these proud schools help to nurture our country's greatest resource-the intelligence and imagination of our youth.
Historically black colleges and universities quickly earned distinguished reputations, both for the quality of their scholarship and for their commitment to guaranteeing equal opportunity for all. Their invaluable contributions are evident in the countless students, past and present, who have benefitted from the rich educational experience these institutions provide. Their graduates have become accomplished participants in every aspect of society, have raised new generations to respect the values of knowledge and discovery, and, with the unique perspective of their schooling, have immeasurably enriched the lives of their communities and of our entire Nation.
As we pause this year to recognize the continuing importance of these outstanding schools, we have new cause for optimism that such academic communities will remain vibrant and enduring leaders in American education. On November 1, 1993, I was proud to sign an Executive Order committing greater Federal attention to strengthening historically black colleges and universities. This order establishes a commission comprised of representatives from those schools, along with business leaders and other educational officials. Guided by the high standards set by our Goals 2000: Educate America Act, this commission will explore new ways to enhance the infrastructure of these institutions and to facilitate future planning and development. Working together, we can prepare these colleges and universities, some of America's finest, to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century and beyond.
To heighten awareness of that crucial goal and to recognize the critical role that historically black colleges and universities have played in the lives of African Americans throughout the land, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 21, has designated the week beginning September 18, 1994, as "National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this commemoration.
Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of September 18 through September 24, 1994, as National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week. I call upon the people of the United States, including government officials, educators, and volunteers, to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of September, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and nineteenth.
William J. Clinton
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 3:02 p.m., September 22, 1994]