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Portland footwear designer D’Wayne Edwards, said Tuesday he plans to reopening Michigan’s only historically black college and university, Lewis College Of Business in March of 2022 in Detroit. The Lewis College of Business closed in 2013 after being open since 1928. Upon its reopening, Edwards plans on making a slight change to its name calling it the PENSOLE Lewis College of Business and Design. According to Edwards, this would be the only HBCU in the nations history to reopen after be shut down.

Edwards said that he plans to have PENSOLE college “majority tuition-free.” He also plans to have popular brands such as Nike, Asics, Adidas, New Balance etc, pay for students’ tuition and housing. Edwards said, in return, those brands would get a pool of talented students ready for work. He said he specifically works with brands to make sure every student has a job or internship when they complete their program. The PENSOLE college would not grant degrees like most colleges and universities. Instead, Edwards said it would grant certification when programs are completed and have students working with brands to sculpt courses that meet the their needs. If students were interested in getting a degree however, Edwards said students would be able to “stack” classes at the College for Creative Studies to earn a diploma.

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(Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Fast Company)

If approved, the school would exist as a joint venture with the College for Creative Studies. Don Tuski, CCS President said that he believes the joint venture with PENSOLE would make the College for Creative Studies “more accessible.” In a statement released to the public, Tuski said, “One of the most important things about art and designers is the need to hold people accountable, hold corporations accountable and make sure that diversity and equity are part of our process, we’re excited to start doing more of that.”

Enrollment for the new school is expected to start in December of 2021, and if all goes accoring to plan, classes will began in March of 2022. Specific courses will be announced later in the fall. Detroit, will you be enrolling in  PENSOLE Lewis College of Business and Design?