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National Park Service grants Stillman $500k for Winsborough Project

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Stillman College’s efforts to renovate historic Winsborough Hall have received a significant boost.

The National Park Service has awarded Stillman College a $500,000 History of Equal Rights (HER) grant to rehabilitate the exterior of Winsborough Hall, a former campus residence hall now vacant.

Stillman President Dr. Cynthia Warrick aims to revitalize the oldest remaining building in Stillman’s Historic District into The Winsborough Hall Living & Learning Center, a residential center for active seniors that will serve a variety of campus and community needs.

Architect’s rendering of the future Winsborough Hall Living & Learning Center.

“This historic structure will bring older generations to enjoy the safe cultural, educational, and social space that our students experience and be part of a thriving community for continuous learning,” Warrick said. “We hope that the Winsborough Living & Learning Center will serve as a model for other HBCU campuses, to bridge the generations and enhance student and community participation and education.”

Stillman’s Winsborough project is one of just 10 across the country to receive HER funding this year. The National Park Service awarded nearly $3.3 million in HER grants between the 10 projects.

The Winsborough project will cost roughly $11 million.

“We’ve gotten gifts from AARP, GAF, from alumni and others so we can start spending that money on the roof and façade, so that we can stabilize the building,” Warrick said. “The roof really needs to be repaired, and so do the windows, which must be restored to the period in which Winsborough was built.

“Historic preservation work is very expensive, so we’re excited to receive the HER grant.”

The rich history of Winsborough Hall aligned with the grant application’s focus on women’s equal rights. Winsborough was erected in 1922 and has served as a school for women, headquarters of the Presbyterian Church’s women’s auxiliary annual conferences, and as a residence hall for women attending Stillman.

Winsborough Hall also served as a haven during the Civil Rights Movement. In 1964, Winsborough was a place for weary students to be reinvigorated after protesting segregation in Tuscaloosa with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Vivian Malone Jones, the first African American graduate of the University of Alabama, had a dedicated room at Stillman during her two years at UA. She credited Stillman’s cultural and social support for enabling her to complete her degree.

“The History of Equal Rights Grant program helps preserve sites where communities came together to advance civil rights,” said Chuck Sams, director of NPS. “These funds support our State, Tribal, and local governments and nonprofit partners in telling a more complete story of the road to equal rights for all Americans.” 

To support the Winsborough Living & Learning Center you can give online, check or cash:

  • Online: Stillman.edu/give
  • Mailing address: Institutional Advancement, 3601 Stillman Blvd. Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 

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