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House Authorizes Funding for Women’s Colleges Preservation

On October 3, the House approved, by voice vote, a bill (H.R. 4503) to authorize funding to preserve historic buildings at several women’s colleges. Sponsored by Rep. Charles Pickering (R-MS), the bill would authorize the National Historic Preservation Fund to spend $16 million in each of FY2001 through FY2005 to help preserve buildings at industrial and technical skills schools for women. Eight such institutions would benefit from the legislation—Mississippi University for Women, the University of Montevallo in Alabama, Georgia College and State University, Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Texas Women’s University, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, and Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga.

Expressing concern about the way in which the schools were chosen, Rep. Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS) said, “There are currently 78 women’s colleges and universities in the United States today. Why are these eight deserving of this funding and the other 70 are not?”

Rep. Pickering noted that the schools were chosen because “they are the oldest public women’s colleges in the country….If we are looking at historic preservation, it seems to me that we look at the oldest first, and that should receive the priority.”

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