[Congressional Record Volume 144, Number 119 (Thursday, September 10, 1998)]
[Page S10216]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


 Ms. MOSELEY-BRAUN. Mr. President, I would like to take a few 
minutes today to bring to the attention of the Senate an event that 
will take place this weekend in my hometown of Chicago. That event, the 
Second Annual Chicago Football Classic, celebrates the rich academic, 
cultural and athletic tradition of historically Black colleges and 
  The Chicago Football Classic will take place this year at Chicago's 
Soldier Field on Saturday, September 12, 1998. This year's competition 
pits Alcorn State University against Virginia State University in what 
promises to be an exciting and hard-fought gridiron battle.
  Although the football game is the centerpiece of the event, the 
Chicago Football Classic is about so much more. Begun last year, the 
Chicago Football Classic was created by Chicago area businessmen to 
spread the word within the African-American community about the 
tremendous opportunities available at historically Black colleges and 
universities. Aside from the game, the Classic features a spectacular 
halftime battle of the bands; a luncheon honoring Dr. Clinton Bristow, 
Jr. and Dr. Eddie N. Moore, presidents of Alcorn State University and 
Virginia State University, respectively; and a parade in historic Grant 
Park featuring the Virginia State Marching Marauders and the Alcorn 
State Sounds of Dynomite.
  Mr. President, I am sure that the members of this body are well aware 
of the proud legacy and stunning achievements of our nation's 
historically Black colleges. Nonetheless, I would be remiss if in 
talking about the Chicago Football Classic, I failed to mention that 
our nation's historically Black colleges and universities have promoted 
academic excellence for over 130 years. Although they represent only 3 
percent of all U.S. institutions of higher learning, historically Black 
colleges and universities graduate fully 33 percent of all African-
Americans with bachelor's degrees and 43 percent of all African-
Americans who go on to earn their Ph.D.'s.
  As so eloquently stated in Fisk University's original charter, 
historically Black colleges and universities have measured themselves 
``by the highest standards, not of Negro education, but of American 
education at its best.''
  Throughout their history, historically Black colleges and 
universities have produced some of our nation's most distinguished 
leaders, including the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the late 
Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and several current U.S 
Representatives. These institutions have distinguished themselves in 
the field of higher education over the years by maintaining the highest 
academic standards while increasing educational opportunities for 
economically and socially disadvantaged Americans, including tens of 
thousands of African-Americans.
  In Virginia State University and Alcorn State University, the Chicago 
Football has chosen two exceptional universities to participate in this 
years festivities. Alcorn State, located in Loman, Mississippi, arose 
from the ashes of the Civil War in 1871 with eight faculty members and 
179 mostly male local students. Today, Alcorn State has grown to a 
population of 3,000 students from all over the world and 500 faculty 
and staff members. Virginia State University was founded in 1882 in 
Petersburg, Virginia with 126 students and seven faculty members. One 
hundred years later in 1982, the University was fully integrated, with 
a student body of nearly 5,000 and a full-time faculty of about 250.
  Mr. President, both of these schools have a historical connection to 
the United States Congress. The first president of Virginia State, John 
Mercer Langston, was the only African-American ever elected to the 
United States Congress from Virginia until the election of Congressman 
Robert Scott in 1992. Former Senator Hiram Revels of Mississippi, the 
first African-American elected to the United States Senate, resigned 
his seat in this body to become the first president of Alcorn State.
  Certainly, in mentioning these few facts about Alcorn State and 
Virginia State Universities, I have only scratched the surface of the 
proud history, academic excellence, and abundant opportunities that 
historically Black colleges and universities have to offer.
  I salute the organizers, participants, and fans of the Chicago 
Football Classic for coming together to celebrate historically Black 
colleges and universities. In the words of Tim Rand, the Executive 
Director of the Chicago Football Classic: ``It offers young people an 
opportunity to witness the rich cultural heritage of Black colleges and 
universities.'' I am proud that Chicago has been chosen as the venue 
for this important and exciting event.
  In closing, I would like to welcome the students, athletes, fans and 
alumni of Virginia State and Alcorn State to Illinois, and wish both 
teams good luck in Saturday's game. I know my colleagues here in the 
Senate join me in my praise of the Chicago Football Classic and in my 
gratitude and respect for our nation's historically Black colleges and