Second NPS Award Totals $1 Million In Forthcoming
Upgrades To Historic EWU Campus Library

In its mission to continue sustaining the institution’s rich history, Edward Waters University (EWU) has been awarded $500,000 from the National Historic Society for the preservation of the Centennial Hall on Friday, July 8, 2022.  Previous to this awarded grant, The National Historic Society had already bestowed EWU with $500,000 to maintain and make improvements to the Centennial Hall. This occurred last year, in 2021, making this the second time they have awarded EWU with this grant.

The National Historic Society’s division, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places, was established as part of a national program to coordinate and support public as well as private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archaeological resources. As such, EWU receiving additional funding to preserve the Centennial Hall marks the importance of the building as a historical site in Jacksonville, Florida.

“As Florida’s ‘Destination Institution’ of Emerging Eminence, we are honored to accept this gift from The National Historic Society. This will support our perpetual ascendancy as Jacksonville’s crown jewel of education. We are ecstatic to see the progression of our historic buildings that have been seen as a staple of the EWU community,” said President and CEO of EWU, Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr. 

The Centennial Hall functions as the university’s main library. Originally built in 1916 to house a gymnasium and a number of classrooms, the Centennial Building, as it was originally referred to, was renamed in 1966 to commemorate the institution’s 100th anniversary and as the oldest building on campus. In 1976, it was rehabilitated for use as the college library. Today, the library contains nearly 13,000 print volumes and provides access to more than 250,000 electronic books. It’s also home to Obi-Scott-Umunna Collection of African Art.

“It is no easy feat to be awarded a grant on a federal level. For EWU to receive this show of support, it means that we have worked hard to show the pride with which we hold our esteemed historical buildings. I am proud that the Centennial Hall has continued to be seen as a worthy historic place by the National Historic Society,” Randolph Mitchell, the Vice President of Business and Finance commented.

The Centennial Hall is receiving upgrades to its exterior, which include but are not limited to, repairing and repointing bricks and cleaning the building’s surface.

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About Edward Waters University: Emerging Eminence

Edward Waters University is distinctively the state of Florida’s first independent institution of higher learning as well as Florida’s first institution established for the education of African-Americans. With a distinguished higher education lineage spanning over 150 years, EWU is primed to continue its Emerging Eminence as a premier urban, private, Christian, historically black, liberal arts university offering high quality degrees and preparing students holistically to advance in a global society through the provision of intellectually stimulating academic programs of study. The University offers a closeknit, collegial, intellectual community that draws students and scholars from around the world. For more information, visit