STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Leaders of several historically black colleges and universities are gathering in Virginia to discuss the status of the higher education institutions. Virginia Union University President Claude Perkins is being joined Friday in Richmond by the heads of Benedict College, Bowie State, Tougaloo College, Shaw University and Johnson C. Smith University. Officials say the presidents will discuss diversity in higher education and opportunities and challenges facing the schools both now and in the future. The panel is being moderated by David Pluviose, executive editor of Diverse Issues in Higher Education. The gathering is part of events marking Virginia Union’s 150th anniversary.