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As part of an ongoing effort to make content more accessible, LAM will be making select stories available to readers in Spanish.

BY ANJULIE RAO

FROM THE APRIL 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

On college campuses across the country, late summer yields the air of transformation; students and their families arrive on campus and embark on rituals and rites that change those students into members of a new community. Many universities take advantage of their campuses—their histories, landscapes, and buildings—to embed celebratory traditions and rites of passage for their students. For Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), those traditions are a source of community identity, centered around significant campus landscapes. At Spelman College in Atlanta, a women’s HBCU, students partake in a “Parting” ceremony, held at the college’s campus Oval. Surrounded by campus buildings, students, dressed all in white per college tradition, prepare to say goodbye to their families to join the Spelman College community.

Yet as campuses grow and evolve to accommodate new technology and facilities, those landscapes are at risk. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has recently launched the HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative—a $1 million pilot program to help guide HBCU campus leaders to preserve their landscapes and, by extension, their traditions of community strength and scholarly excellence. (more…)

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