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Shaw University Receives $500,000 Grant from National Park Service to Restore Leonard Hall 

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Shaw University Receives $500,000 Grant from National Park Service to Restore Leonard Hall 
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Shaw University Receives $500,000 Grant from National Park Service to Restore Leonard Hall 
From left, Kevin Sullivan, Shaw University Vice President for Real Estate and Strategic Development; Dr. Paulette R. Dillard, President of Shaw University; U.S. Congresswoman Deborah Ross; and Marilyn Baldwin Richards, M.Div., Shaw University Vice President for Institutional Advancement announce a $500K grant from the National Park Service to restore Leonard Hall on campus.

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UPDATE: On Friday, May 20, 2022, U.S. Congresswoman Deborah Ross (D-NC) visited Shaw University and joined the President of the university, Dr. Paulette R. Dillard, to announce a $500,000 National Park Service African American Civil Rights grant that has been awarded to help the school rehabilitate the historic educational building, Leonard Hall. The grant, intended to preserve the history of the places, people, and events associated with the civil rights movement, was awarded following a push from Congresswoman Ross. 

RALEIGH, N.C. – In May 2022, Shaw University received a $500,000 grant award from the National Park Service to rehabilitate and restore Leonard Hall. Built in 1883, the building previously served as the location of the Leonard Medical School; it now serves as the home of the Shaw University School of Divinity and the Center for Racial and Social Justice. 

Grant funds will be used to repair and replace the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment, systems and components (HVAC) in the building and upgrade the life safety fire suppression system. This restoration project is supported through an African American Civil Rights grant, provided by the Historic Preservation Fund, as administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior.

Earlier in May, National Park Service (NPS) Director Chuck Sams announced the award of $16,247,500 in African American Civil Rights grants to fund numerous organizations. NPS awards this year will benefit 44 projects in 15 states and support the continued preservation of sites and history related to the African American struggle for equality.

Sams said, “The African American Civil Rights grants are critical to helping preserve and interpret a more comprehensive narrative of the people, places and events associated with the African American Civil Rights movement.” The African American Civil Rights grants fund a variety of projects from rehabilitation to oral history documentation, in coordination with state, Tribal, local government and nonprofit partners.

Dr. Paulette Dillard, President of Shaw University, said, “Leonard Hall is an iconic and historic presence on the campus of Shaw University, and we are appreciative of this opportunity to restore the building and continue its impactful legacy. We are grateful to the National Park Service and its African American Civil Rights grant program to support such noteworthy causes and to preserve history.” 

Shaw University, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, is the first historically Black institution of higher education founded in North Carolina and is among the oldest in the nation. The University was founded in 1865 by Henry Martin Tupper. Dr. Paulette Dillard currently serves as the University’s 18th President. For more information, visit:

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