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Reimagining St. Paul’s College

Chris Stephenson
Chris Stephenson of SPC4Life presents project updates to attendees at the 2023 St. Paul’s College Unity Day. Photo Credit: K3MMG

Title of Project: Reimagining St. Paul’s College 

Project Period (Duration): November 2022 – Current

Principal Investigator (PI): Chris Stephenson, President, St. Paul’s College 4 Life (SPC4Life) 


  • Dr. Max Stephenson, Jr., Director, Institute for Policy and Governance (IPG) and Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA)
  • Bob Leonard, Professor, School of Performing Arts (SOPA) and IPG Senior Fellow
  • Andy Morikawa, IPG Senior Fellow
  • Brad Stephens, IPG Graduate Assistant and PhD Student in Planning, Governing, and Globalization (PGG)
  • Dr. Scott Tate, Associate Director for Community Innovations, Virginia Tech Center for Economic and Community Engagement (CECE)

Funding Source(s): Virginia Tech Center for Economic and Community Engagement (CECE), SPC4Life

Key Community Partners: SPC4Life

Key University Partners: SPIA, SOPA, School of Visual Arts (SOVA), Pamplin College of Business, Center for Rural Education, Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment (ISCE)

Description of Project:

An interdisciplinary team of Virginia Tech partners is working with the alumni of St. Paul’s College (SPC) in Lawrenceville, VA to re-envision the role of this historically Black college and university (HBCU) that closed in 2013. The group has been working with SPC alumnus Chris Stephenson to support SPC4Life’s strategic planning process and facilitate.

Project Goals:

  • Provide guidance to SPC4Life board leadership
  • Research and discuss recommendations to launch new educational ventures
  • Consider how media production and outreach can help SPC4Life support its goals

Project Outcomes to Date:

  • Event support and facilitation to build energy for galvanizing alumni efforts
  • An academic journal article on the Black Radical Imagination in this context (forthcoming): “The Black Radical Imagination in a Rural Forgotten Space,” MetroPolitics, Accepted October 30, 2023. Brad Stephens, Max Stephenson Jr., Chris Stephenson. 

Project Materials: