NAICU Washington Update

Introduction by Barbara K. Mistick

June 17, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

We are very excited to finally be on the brink of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Pell Grant next week on June 23. I hope you will engage with the online and social media activities taking place next week (see below for more details). Here is a resource page containing social media graphics and content to help spread the word and raise awareness about the impact the Pell Grant has had on your students, campus, and community.

As you saw from my Action Alert earlier this week, we are asking you to encourage your federal lawmakers to co-sign resolutions recognizing June 23 as “National Pell Day” and to take the floor of Congress to offer one-minute speeches showing their support for the Pell Grant.

As a follow up to the Action Alert, I have several important updates regarding the House and Senate resolutions. The first, and most timely, update is that both the Senate and the House have extended their deadlines for adding co-sponsors.

Senate Update: Yesterday, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced S. Res. 676, the Senate resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Pell Grant program. Senate offices should contact either Fiona O'Brien ( with Senator Murray’s office or Emily Slack ( with Senator Blunt’s office to cosponsor the resolution. There is no deadline to co-sponsor, but it would be great to have as many Senators as possible by next Thursday, June 23.

House Update: The deadline for Representatives to sign on to the House resolution in support of “National Pell Grant Day” has been extended to COB Tuesday, June 21, to garner more support before the resolution is introduced. To sign on, Representatives’ offices can contact Marie Gualtieri ( with Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) or Shane Hand ( with Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK); or they can use the House sign on form.

Our hope is to get as many co-sponsors for the resolutions and Members of Congress giving floor speeches as possible to demonstrate the broad bipartisan support for Pell.

50th Anniversary Events and Activities:

  • June 22 – Capitol Hill Advocacy Day. The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) is hosting a panel discussion with students, and congressional and Administration leaders about the impact of the Pell Grant. The panel discussion will be livestreamed if you are interested in viewing. 
  • June 23 – Capitol Hill Pell 50th Anniversary Reception. NAICU is co-hosting a Capitol Hill reception that will be attended by members of Congress and their staff, representatives from the Department of Education, higher education leaders, and others to honor and celebrate the lasting impact of the Pell Grant.

Here are additional ways you can show your support for Pell:

  • Organize your own campus celebration. I hope you will consider ways you can celebrate the anniversary of the Pell Grant program on your campus this summer, and throughout the remainder of the anniversary year. It could be hosting a campus event, creating a short video testimonial or social media content highlighting Pell Grant recipients, or drafting an op-ed about the impact of the grant on your campus. Were you a Pell Grant recipient? Sharing your story about the impact the Pell Grant has had on your life as a college president can be influential with Members of Congress as well. If you do organize an event or generate media attention, please let us know by emailing
  • Engage on Social Media. In the days leading up to the 23rd, the day of, and beyond, organizations and institutions will be posting their support for the Pell Grant on social media using the #PellTurns50. NAICU, in cooperation with many other higher education associations and advocacy groups, has created tools and resources to help with your social media efforts. This is a great time to highlight students, alumni, local leaders, and others who have benefited from Pell Grants.
Double Pell

“Pell was key for each of us as we made our way to and through college (one of us earned an undergraduate degree 41 years ago and the other graduates this month). We may be generations apart but a singular investment from the federal government ties us, and together we urge our Washington, D.C., leaders to boost funding toward doubling the Pell Grant maximum.”

Diane Marie Timberlake, M.D., and Leihla Cummings in an op-ed published this week in The Seattle Times. Diane was a family physician and earned her bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University and her medical degree from the University of Washington and Leihla will earn her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Seattle University this month.

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