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Texas HBCUs Huston-Tillotson University, Paul Quinn College, Wiley College Create Safe Harbors Consortium to Provide Scholarships for Twin Cities Students

TEXAS, April 30, 2021 – Over the past year, the Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minnesota (Twin Cities) region has experienced several senseless tragedies and unprecedented levels of political and civil unrest. In direct response, three Texas Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have partnered to create the Safe Harbors Consortium to specifically invite students from the Twin Cities region to enroll for the impending Fall 2021 semester.

Recognizing the need for an educational experience that supports not only students’ academic needs, but their mental health and emotional needs, Austin-based Huston-Tillotson University, Dallas-based Paul Quinn College, and Marshall, Texas-based Wiley College have formed the Safe Harbors Consortium, which awards scholarship funds for students from the Twin Cities region.

“HBCUs have always been safe harbors for not just our students, but for their dreams. The creation of this scholarship is an acknowledgement that what we do is more needed now than ever,” said Dr. Michael J. Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College. “The partnership was formed because we know family does not have to compete against each other to succeed.”

Member institutions Huston-Tillotson University, Paul Quinn College, and Wiley College will award up to $5,000 per year (up to four years) for selected Safe Harbors scholarship recipients.

“At HBCUs we believe the fundamental right to receive an education is inherited in the social contract between America and her citizenry,” said Dr. Herman J. Felton, President of Wiley College.  “At HBCUs, we believe that right must be complemented with a holistic environment ripe with opportunities for our students to find themselves in a nurturing environment that can be transformative for the lives of all students, but particularly students of color.”

“Education is the great equalizer and not an option. Our Safe Harbors Consortium provides talented students from the Twin Cities region with an unprecedented opportunity to pursue their undergraduate degree in an educational and culturally vibrant space where the goal for students is not to survive but to overwhelmingly thrive, academically and in their personal lives serviced with excellence and nurturing,” said Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, President of Huston-Tillotson University.

The three HBCUs have committed to providing scholarships for incoming students who (1) reside in a Twin Cities county: Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington; (2) meet the institution’s designated admissions criteria; and (3) submit their Safe Harbors scholarship application by Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

For additional information about the innovative and prescient Safe Harbors Consortium, please email Ms. Autumn Caviness (, Special Assistant to the President, Huston-Tillotson University. For application and scholarship information from the Safe Harbors Consortium’s member institutions, please email Mr. Yohannis Job (, Dean of Enrollment Management, Huston-Tillotson University; Mr. Sean Whitten (, Director of Enrollment Management, Paul Quinn College; and Mr. Shaquille Dillon (, Executive Director of Enrollment Management, Wiley College.

About Huston-Tillotson University 

Huston-Tillotson University, the oldest institution of learning in Austin, Texas, has roots dating back to 1875. HT is an independent, church-related, historically black, four-year liberal arts institution located on a 23-acre tree-lined campus near downtown in East Austin. Huston-Tillotson University’s mission is to nurture a legacy of leadership and excellence in education, connecting knowledge, power, passion, and values. The University offers associate and master’s degrees in addition to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in more than 19 areas of study.

About Paul Quinn College

Paul Quinn College is a private, faith-based, four-year, liberal arts-inspired college that was founded on April 4, 1872, by a group of African Methodist Episcopal Church preachers in Austin, Texas. The school’s original purpose was to educate freed slaves and their offspring. Today, we proudly educate students of all races and socio-economic classes under the banner of our institutional ethos, WE over Me. Our mission is to provide a quality, faith-based education that addresses the academic, social, and Christian development of students. Under President Sorrell’s leadership, Paul Quinn has become one of the most innovative and respected small colleges in the nation and now serves as a model for urban higher education. Fortune magazine recognized President Sorrell’s work and the College’s transformation by naming him one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. President Sorrell is also a three-time award winner of HBCU Male President of the Year by HBCU Digest and was named by Time magazine as one of the “31 People Changing the South.” For more information about Paul Quinn College, please visit

About Wiley College

Wiley College has a 148-year history of offering men and women an unparalleled liberal arts education. Wiley College is a private, historically black, liberal arts college in Marshall, Texas. Founded in 1873 by the Methodist Episcopal Church’s Bishop Isaac Wiley and certified in 1882 by the Freedman’s Aid Society, it is one of the oldest predominantly black colleges west of the Mississippi River. Wiley labors to cultivate high academic achievement that prepares our students to advocate for social good while also training for leadership roles in the workplace and society. Wiley offers robust leadership development and wellness support programs to ensure the holistic growth of each student. The Heman M. Sweatt Center for Social Good and Leadership prepares the next generation of social activists through unique and rigorous learning experiences complete with guest speakers, book readings, problem-solving-based projects, workshops, conferences, and cultural travel. The academic, social, and recreational organizations offered on-campus provide a space for fellowship and community. We are a close-knit, spirit-led college, which gives us the room to create a more personalized experience for each of our students while maximizing their potential for success inside and outside our doors.