(JACKSONVILLE, FL – Wednesday, February 2, 2022) – Earlier today representatives from The Propel Center and Apple, Inc. visited the campus of Edward Waters University (EWU) to present a check in the amount of $300,000.00 to EWU President & CEO, Dr. A. Zachary Faison Jr. in support of academic programming, research, and learning opportunities particularly in the areas of the arts and entertainment industries. “As Florida’s ‘Destination Institution’ of Emerging Eminence, we are honored to accept this signature gift  from our partners at The Propel Center which will also support the continued advancement of our institution’s mission to provide expanded and relevant high quality academic and experiential opportunities to under gird the comprehensive success of our students,” President Faison said.

In an afternoon ceremony Dr. Charles Gibbs, President of The Propel Center, made the award presentation to President Faison along with current EWU students and staff. “We at The Propel Center proud to make this investment at Edward Waters University as we are excited to become a partner in the positively transformative work being achieved by EWU under the dynamic visionary leadership of President Faison,” Dr. Gibbs said during the gift ceremony.

Upon careful consideration of the 44 impressive proposals submitted, Edward Waters University was one of ten HBCU’s nationally chosen to receive a grant focused on the Arts and Entertainment. Relatedly, through this support from The Propel Center, EWU will work towards developing its D.R.E.A.M. program (i.e., Developing Resources for Entertainment, Arts, and Music) which aims to establish an incubator of future music and arts executives from amongst EWU students. The new grant also seeks to support the production of a pipeline of EWU students with music industry experience upon graduation.

“I am deeply grateful to ‘The Propel Center’ its partners, and Dr. Gibbs for their demonstrated leadership in the collective effort to accelerate opportunity and catalyze equity not just here at Edward Waters University, but at these collective higher educational treasures—known as HBCUs—from throughout the nation,” said President Faison.

The new D.R.E.A.M. program looks to target 10-20 students who will participate in a monthly programs and seminar featuring current music moguls as facilitating teachers and instructors. While enrolled at EWU students and staff will have an opportunity to visit The Propel Center in Atlanta, GA to network and collaborate with other HBCU Propel member institutions and students. 

About The Propel Center:
Imagined in January 2021 by founding partners Apple and Southern Company, the Propel Center is a first-of-its-kind innovation and learning hub for the entire HBCU community that leverages technology to advance education equity and transform the nation’s talent pipeline and workforce. Through a robust virtual learning platform, on-campus activations at partner institutions, and a physical campus to be located in Georgia’s Atlanta University Center, Propel represents education now, designed for the future. The state-of-the-art edifice, featuring floating classrooms, ideation labs and common areas promoting interactive collaboration is slated for completion in the Spring of 2023. To learn more, visit propelcenter.org.

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 close-knit, collegial, intellectual community that draws students and scholars from around the world. For more information, visit www.ewc.edu