University of California, Riverside, a public institution that was founded in 1954, has ranked among the nation's best universities in successfully graduating black students compared to their white counterparts, a new study has found.

The UC Riverside campus has a total undergraduate enrollment of 23,000 and was said to be one of the top 18 universities for African-Americans among 676 public and private nonprofit institutions, according to a study released Wednesday by the Education Trust, which is a Washington-based education policy organization.

The study, entitled “A Look at Black Student Success: Identifying Top- and Bottom-Performing Institutions,” reported by authors, Andrew H. Nichols and Denzel Evans-Bell, said that black students' graduation rates fall behind white students' by about 21. 1 percent nationally, whereas UCR graduates black students at a rate 1.7 percent higher than white students.

“This report highlights what we’ve known for a while — that UCR is a national leader in student success,” UCR Chancellor Kim Wilcox said. “This achievement has only been possible through a collaborative effort involving our entire campus community over a number of years.”

UC Riverside, No. 2 nationwide among all universities in its numbers of black students and the only California-based institution in the rankings, has a 69.5 percent of black students graduate, compared with 41 percent nationally.

“This national ranking is a testament to the perseverance of our black scholars, and the support our department provides,” said Ken Simons, director of African Student Programs (ASP) at UCR. “When we as a campus embrace our young black scholars and let them know that we appreciate their hard work, when we let them know their aspirations matter, that is all the empowerment they need to succeed.”

The White House held a gathering Monday that included representatives from 80 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). President Donald Trump signed an executive order that may ultimately send more funding to HBCUs in the future.