Leaders of historically black colleges and universities in Atlanta are back home after a visit to the White House.
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Their trip ended Tuesday afternoon with President Donald Trump signing an executive order that he said supports HBCUs.
The presidents of Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College and Morehouse College were among the dozens of HBCU leaders in attendance.
Morehouse President John Silvanus Wilson Jr. said he simply hopes the meeting and order materialize into new funding.
“If we can move from this dialogue to tangible increases of support that will make it easier for a lot of people to attend college, then it’s all worthwhile,” Wilson said.
For now, Trump’s order restructures a federal program overseeing HBCUs so that it’s under the purview of the White House.
On Tuesday, students at the Atlanta University Center campus were cautiously optimistic about the attention from Trump.
JaMisha Hosea, a Clark Atlanta student, said she doesn’t think of the president as supportive of minorities.
“I’m surprised that Donald Trump is trying to help Africans Americans in any kind of way actually,” Hosea said. “However, I guess we should go with the flow.”
Hosea said she’ll give Trump a chance to show what he can do.
Another Clark Atlanta student, Dre Will, agreed. He said HBCUs badly need more funding, and the schools’ leaders should be working with whoever is president.
“I mean, if he [is] putting out an order to help us, I don’t see what could go wrong with that,” Will said.