Wiley University receives a $500,000 National Park Services Grant for Historic Preservation!

Jun 28, 2023

For Immediate Release!

(Marshall, Texas)

June 23, 2023

Wiley University is pleased to announce it is a recipient of a National Park Services grant as part of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Historic Preservation Fund. Wiley University is one of fourteen HBCUs to be awarded a $500,000 grant to preserve and restore historic buildings, structures, and landmarks. The grant will support the final phase of the Wiley University project to preserve Pemberton for continued use.

“The Wiley Pemberton Complex continues to be an important space for former high school attendees like me. Having attended Pemberton High School when Marshall education was segregated, the preservation of these buildings ensures history is preserved.” – Mr. Ivan White, Graduate of Pemberton High School and Wiley University Director of Administrative Services

The former Pemberton High School served as the only high school for Blacks in Marshall, TX, prior to the desegregation of the public school in the 1970s. The building is located on the Wiley University campus. It is named after the first graduate of Wiley University, H.B. Pemberton Sr., who was instrumental in obtaining education for Blacks in Marshall, TX. In 1894, H.B. Pemberton Sr. began petitioning the city of Marshall for Black access to education. His advocacy and fundraising efforts established Marshall’s first African American Public School. In 1925, H.B. Pemberton Sr. petitioned for a new school because of outgrowth at the segregated school. That same year, the school site was purchased and would remain the home of the school until its closure in the 1970s. In 1941, through petition, the school board unanimously accepted the petition to change the name of the school to the H.B. Pemberton High School in honor of its founder.

“The National Park Service program to preserve buildings at HBCUs is helping to ensure that America’s rich history is always in our collective memories. The use of these funds to update the Pemberton – Wiley Complex will make it more accessible to members of the community.” – President & CEO Herman J. Felton Jr., Wiley University

The Wiley University Preservation Project: Strengthening the Legacy is scheduled to be completed by March 2024.

For General Press/Media Inquiries, Contact: Jasmine Farmer at jfarmer@wileyc.edu.


About Wiley University

Founded in 1873 in Marshall, Texas, Wiley University is a historically Black, liberal arts, residential, co-educational, baccalaureate degree-granting institution affiliated with The United Methodist Church. Committed to the principle of educational access, the University serves traditional and non-traditional students from diverse backgrounds who have expressed a desire and potential for learning in a Christian environment. Home of “The Great Debaters,” Wiley University has an intentional focus on social good and leadership, and its motto is “Go forth Inspired.”