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National Archives

Public Papers - 1989 - September

Remarks on Signing the National Historically Black Colleges Week Proclamation


I'm delighted that you all could be with us, particularly these two Secretaries and our distinguished Members of Congress. Many of you all were here in April when I signed the new Presidential Executive order on historically black colleges and universities, so it's good to welcome you back. And, as I say, I'm delighted to be flanked by two very able members of my Cabinet, Secretary Lou Sullivan and Secretary Lauro Cavazos. I want to thank Senator Strom Thurmond and Congressman Spence -- I guess were the primary cosponsors -- and certainly Congressman Conte and Senator Hatch.

Most of you have come to Washington to participate in this week's conference sponsored by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The signing of this proclamation to commemorate the National Black Colleges Week is perhaps a fitting way, since you're here for the other, to conclude the visit to the Nation's Capital.

And, as you know, I've been committed to historically black colleges and universities for over 40 years, since Bill Trent enlisted me in the cause back in 1947, I think it was, at college. And I am determined to do everything in my power to assist and to help keep black colleges strong. I know we can reach that goal. I feel very confident about that. So keep up the good work that you're doing. Thank you all very much for coming. And now you'll see how government works -- this flourish of a pen. But really, I'm so pleased you all are here. Thank you all.

Note: The President spoke at 2:27 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to William Trent, former president of the United Negro College Fund. The proclamation is listed in Appendix E at the end of this volume.

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