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Howard University Announces $785 Million Investment to Accelerate Renovations and Construct New Academic Centers

Campus Aerial Shot Hi-Res

Fueled by the University’s unprecedented financial strength, this historic investment in the campus master plan will transform Howard’s campus over the next five years, providing new and improved facilities for faculty, students and staff  

Capital Projects Map
Mockup of Howard University Real Estate Projects

WASHINGTON – Howard University officials today announced plans for the largest construction real estate initiative in the institution’s history. The University will invest $785 million to build three new state-of-the-art multidisciplinary academic halls and renovate several existing structures, including the historic Myrtilla Miner Building, which sits prominently on Georgia Avenue, that will house the School of Education and the Howard University Middle School for Mathematics and Science. The new academic centers will house teaching and research in health sciences; arts and communications; and associated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs. The new construction projects are slated to begin this year and are expected to be completed by 2026.  

“This is a watershed moment in the history of our institution,” said Wayne A. I. Frederick, president of Howard University. “Because of the tremendously enhanced financial posture we have worked so hard to achieve, the state of the University has never been stronger. The leadership of our board and executive team, along with the caliber of students we have enrolled, the illustrious faculty we have assembled, the dedicated staff we have hired, and the committed alumni base we have cultivated, presents an opportunity for us to solidify Howard’s status as one of the preeminent institutions of higher education in the country.” 

Emerging from continued improvement in the University’s ratings and in conjunction with the priorities established in the Howard Forward strategic plan, this is by far the largest real estate investment in Howard University’s history. The historic investment is part of a phased Central Campus Master Plan (CCMP). Announced in 2020, the CCMP serves as the University’s roadmap for the long-term transformation of Howard’s main campus through capital improvements that align with the University’s mission and vision. These efforts are made possible in part because of enrollment growth, increased philanthropic and public investment in the University, and the University’s efforts to build financial strength as outlined in the five-year strategic plan.  

A Major Step in the Campus Master Plan Ignited by $300M Bond and Record-Breaking Philanthropic Giving 

This historic investment begins the implementation of Howard University’s 2020 Central Campus Master Plan. Unanimously approved by the DC Zoning Commission in 2021, the CCMP serves as the University’s roadmap for long-term transformation of Howard’s main campus through capital improvements that align with the University’s mission, vision and strategy. While the CCMP serves as the roadmap to the largest investment in capital projects on Howard’s campus, this investment would not have been possible apart from an intentional focus on improving the financial strength of the University – a pillar of the Howard Forward strategic plan.  

The University reached record-breaking fundraising totals last year, ending the 2021 fiscal year with $170 million in philanthropic contributions. Already, the University is on track to supersede that record in 2022 with $120 million in philanthropic commitments just six months into the fiscal year. These unprecedented totals represent a far-reaching commitment from Howard University alumni, as well as individual and institutional donors, in the bold vision of Howard Forward. 

In February, the University announced a shift in its national bond ratings by the Fitch and Standard and Poor’s (S&P) credit agencies from stable to positive. Both agencies affirmed Howard University’s $300 million series 2022A taxable bonds, which will support the campus master plan’s first phase.  

The bonds are a critical component in the financing plan that will support the implementation of the CCMP.  

Howard Constructs New Academic Buildings for the First Time Since 1984 

Howard University will construct new academic-targeted centers on its campus, marking the largest investment in academic classroom space in 38 years. The investment in these academic centers was approved specifically to fund academic real estate projects and represents a continuation of the University’s overall investment in campus infrastructure. Howard has undergone significant campus renovations to include the full renovation of the Undergraduate Library in 2021, re-opening of the historic Frederick Douglass Memorial Hall in 2021, and the construction of the Interdisciplinary Research Building (IRB) in 2015. Over the last five years, the University has renovated 80 percent of residence halls with improved security and building system upgrades. The University Central Campus Master Plan also includes roughly 1,500 additional housing units. 

Of the $785 million real estate investment, $670 million will be used to fund three new academic centers: the Health Sciences Complex, which will house the College of Medicine, College of Dentistry, College of Pharmacy and the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences; the Center for Arts and Communications, which will house the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts and the Cathy Hughes School of Communications; and the STEM Center, which will house various STEM programs and disciplines including physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, mathematics and associated labs. The University will pursue naming right opportunities related to these campus investments in the coming months. This investment will contribute to the University’s growing $2 billion portfolio of real estate and other assets. 

For more information, read The Next Step in the Campus Master Plan: Revitalizing Howard’s Academic Buildings

About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.