For Immediate Release
By Kathleene Quinn
Tougaloo, Miss., September 29, 2021—Tougaloo College among 20 other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) will receive $500,000 as part of the $9.7 million initiative announcement by the National Park Service, to preserve monumental structures at these historic institutions. The organization's commitment to rehabilitate these noteworthy properties is a significant investment. The NPS has supported HBCUs since 1995.
The College is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is known as the "Cradle of the Civil Rights Movement" in Mississippi. It became the central gathering place for many state and national leaders of the movement, serving as a refuge for activists. "HBCUs have been an important part of the American education system for more than 180 years, providing high-level academics, opportunities, and community for generations of students," said NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge. "The National Park Service's Historically Black Colleges and Universities Grant Program provides funds to preserve noteworthy structures that honor the past and tell the ongoing story of these historic institutions."
In addition, Tougaloo will partner with E.T. Dockery/VPS Technologies and Design Studios Inc. (ETD/VPS) to facilitate the preservation of Tougaloo’s historic structures by producing detailed virtual models of these buildings, including Pope Cottage, Jamerson Hall, and Ballard Hall. ETD/VPS is a Mississippi-based company and a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern (SDVOBC). President and CEO Eddie T. Dockery and Executive Vice President John I. Rivers founded the company in 2014.
“As part of our mission to preserve Tougaloo's legacy, we are excited with the new developments and restoration projects that are underway throughout the campus. We are grateful for the National Park Service's support that enables the College to share the history of these structures through digital technology,” Dr. Carmen J. Walters, president of Tougaloo College, said.
The “Life Mapping” technology will provide “As-Built” digitized drawings of each building with interior and exterior virtual models. This technology will also benefit first responders, facilities management staff, and administrators to navigate through and around the buildings from digital devices.