Showing posts with label black colleges. Show all posts
Showing posts with label black colleges. Show all posts

Sunday, December 12, 2021

HBCU Talladega College receives historic donation of $2.5 million

Talladega College recently received an anonymous and historic donation of $2.5 million in support of student scholarships.

With these funds, the College plans to expand its ‘Angel Award’ scholarship program which will tremendously impact the lives of current and incoming students.

“This donation is the first of many,” said Dr. Lisa Long, acting president of Talladega College. “Our mission is to equip our graduates for the global community through academic excellence, moral values, community service, and professional development.”

“These funds will enable us to continue our path of success and our unwavering journey to remain an institution of excellence,” she added.

In August, the College received an anonymous donation of $250,000 which was used to create the ‘Angel Award.’ This scholarship has provided financial assistance to nearly 100 students who were facing economic struggles.

According to Long, she is not certain about the identity of the College’s ‘angel in disguise,’ but she is exceedingly grateful for their generosity.

“Our College’s most important asset is our people,” said Long. “This donation is yet another validation that we're on the right track with facilitating the needs of our students.”

Among many other demonstrations of generosity and merits, the College recently cleared $925,666 in debt for students with balances for the terms of Spring 2020 through Summer 2021, and was recently ranked in the top 100 most affordable public administration colleges.

Monday, October 25, 2021

HBCU Harris-Stowe University using pandemic funds to cancel student debt

Harris-Stowe University in St. Louis is using federal pandemic relief funds to eliminate student debt owed to the university from the previous academic school year, school officials said.

Harris-Stowe, one of Missouri’s two historically Black universities, announced in September it is using the funds to cancel about $330,000 in debt, an average of about $1,076 per student.

Dr. LaTonia Collins Smith, Harris-Stowe’s interim president, last week told KCUR, the public radio station serving Kansas City, the burden of student debt caused by the pandemic led to low enrollment at the school this fall.

“Many of our students were saying they couldn’t work — because of COVID-19, they lost their jobs,” Smith said. “As a result they could not make payments towards their balances for the previous semester or the semesters which were impacted by COVID-19.”

Smith said the school officials spent most of the week after it made the announcement convincing students and their parents that it wasn’t a hoax. Eventually the school received numerous calls and letters of gratitude, she said.


Sunday, September 12, 2021

Vice President Kamala Harris visits Hampton University

Vice President Kamala Harris stopped in Hampton Friday. She visited Hampton University to discuss the administration’s efforts to invest in strengthening historically Black colleges and universities and to recognize minorities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Thursday, July 09, 2020

HBCU LeMoyne-Owen College Beneficiary of $40M Endowment

UNCF-member institution LeMoyne-Owen College, the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Memphis, Tenn., has been named the beneficiary of an endowment of $40 million, one of the largest gifts to any HBCU and the largest for the school in its 158-year history. The endowment was created from assets from the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, an organization that works to strengthen the community through philanthropy.  
Like other colleges across the country, LeMoyne-Owen College is working to ensure their students, many of whom are first-generation college attendees, return to school following the pandemic. Recent initiatives include partnerships to provide Wi-fi access and electronic devices to students for remote learning, emergency assistance for displaced students and scholarships for students in need.  
“Even before the pandemic, there has been transformative work happening at LeMoyne-Owen College,” Bob Fockler, Community Foundation of Greater Memphis president says. “The college offers unique opportunities for African American students, and we are committed to ensuring that work continues to benefit students and their families for years to come.”  
The endowment fund is a major stepping stone on the path toward advancements in the quality education the college can provide for a larger number students, at a critical time when HBCUs nationally face unique funding challenges and equity issues. LeMoyne-Owen College has the lowest tuition rate of any of the private colleges in the state of Tennessee; nearly 90 percent of students qualify for financial aid or currently receive Federal Pell Grants. 
“Many of our students and their families were already struggling, even before COVID-19. Recent demonstrations have heightened our awareness and commitment to do more to address the inequality and racism that has led to their financial challenges and the critical need to create a more equal and just world,” says Dr. Carol Johnson Dean, interim president of LeMoyne-Owen College. “The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis has generously and courageously helped LeMoyne-Owen College take a huge step forward in educating our future leaders and providing a stronger financial foundation from which to grow.” 
“UNCF expresses sincere gratitude to the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis for this historic gift to LeMoyne-Owen College. In times like the present, it’s encouraging to see philanthropists who continue to recognize the needs of the HBCUs’ vitality, communities they serve and step in to help eliminate financial challenges,” commented UNCF President and CEO, Dr. Michael L. Lomax. “LeMoyne-Owen is a college that generates $40 million annually in economic impact to the Memphis community. Philanthropic investments like these to HBCUs make an enormous difference in not just the lives of the students who are greatly impacted, but to the communities in which they live and work.” 
This beneficial gift allows unrestricted use of the funds for purposes determined by LeMoyne-Owen College. The money will be distributed to LeMoyne-Owen College annually in an amount equal to 5% of the average balance of the Fund. Annual distributions will be made as long as the college maintains its active nonprofit status and continues to perform its mission as publicly stated.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

HBCUs still ‘woefully underfunded,’ according to UNCF president

One could argue it’s been a victorious year for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The FUTURE Act – legislation sustaining federal funding for minority serving institutions — made a fraught, winding journey to President Donald J. Trump’s desk, where it was signed into law in December.

But during a recent event, Dr. Michael Lomax, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), discouraged unbridled optimism.

“I cannot stand before you here today and say only that the state of HBCUs is strong or only that HBCUs remain resilient,” he said at the organization’s second annual “State of the HBCU Address” where HBCU leaders and allies gathered in Washington D.C. “As you know, those truths are only part of the story.”

He argued that the permanent annual $255 million in federal funding for minority serving institutions, with $85 million designated for HBCUs, marks progress, but it isn’t enough to solve the “HBCU paradox” – the fact that HBCUs enjoy broad bipartisan support but continue to be “woefully underfunded.”

The support that exists, though it spans party divides, is “too often a mile wide and an inch deep,” Lomax said. “Too often it creates an all too convenient gap between rhetoric and reality. It makes it easy for people to look and sound like they are HBCU boosters without having to take the hard steps and make a deep-seated commitment to eradicate decades of disparate treatment of HBCUs.”

He directed a few pointed comments at Trump, who claimed at the Davos economic conference in January that his administration “saved” HBCUs.

Lomax acknowledged that HBCU leaders “deeply appreciate” that the president signed the FUTURE Act, forgave the loans of HBCUs impacted by Hurricane Katrina and offered capital finance loan deferment for 13 HBCUs. But he also noted that the FUTURE Act wasn’t included in Trump’s 2021 federal budget and Trump’s efforts to remove programs like federal work study would hurt HBCU students if successful. Meanwhile, most Democratic candidates — Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Michael Bloomberg – have proposed more extensive plans for funding HBCUs.

“We know the president wants the bragging rights for having done ‘more than any other president’ to support HBCUs, so there’s still time for you to claim that mantle,” he said, addressing the president and prompting laughs from the audience. “We hope you will propose in the coming months investments that rival or exceed those of your Democratic opponents.”

Lomax laid out several ongoing policy goals like lobbying for a $1 billion grant for HBCU infrastructure, doubling the Pell grant and tripling Title III funding, the funds guaranteed in the FUTURE Act.

But the federal government isn’t the only sector responsible for the inequitable funding of HBCUs, he said, pointing to “subtler forms of disparate and unfair treatment” by philanthropists, accreditors, corporations and lenders.

Notably, he cited a recent report from the Student Borrower Protection Center called “Educational Redlining,” which found that Upstart, an online lending platform, offered HBCU graduates higher interest rates, costing them thousands of dollars more than similar graduates from predominantly white institutions.

“Let’s make this year the year inequitable treatment of HBCUs is named and shamed,” he said.

[SOURCE: LouisianaWeekly]

Friday, December 06, 2019

U.S. Senate passes amendment restoring $255 million in HBCU funding

The United States Senate approved a bipartisan amendment to restore millions of dollars in federal funding to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs). Known as the FUTURE Act, the bill proposes a 10-year mandatory extension of $255 million in annual funding to HBCUs. It continues Title III funding for HBCUs and MSIs under the Higher Education Act of 1965, which previously expired at the end of September.

The proposal is paid for by simplifying the federal student aid form, which, among other things would eliminate up to 22 questions and require applicants to submit their tax information only once. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the changes would save taxpayers $2.8 billion over ten years, which will be used to pay for the permanent funding for HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions.

The proposal is also co-sponsored by Republican Sens. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Richard Burr of North Carolina, and Democratic Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama and Chris Coons of Delaware.

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) president & CEO Harry L. Williams praised elected officials for approving the bill and encouraged the House of Representatives to pass it as well without delay. “TMCF is appreciative of all of the Senators who came together, in a bipartisan way, to reaffirm the importance of and work to renew this material investment in our Nation’s post-secondary students,” he said in a press release.

Likewise, Dr. Austin A. Lane, president of Texas Southern University said, “The bipartisan support of this bill is clear validation of the value that HBCUs like Texas Southern University brings to so many first-generation college students. Thanks to the lawmakers involved, as well as the tireless support from Dr. Harry Williams and the TMCF, the passage of this bill, will help thousands of more students reach their goals – and without the financial barriers that so often get in the way.”

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Raising $1 Million For HBCUs

UPDATE SEPTEMBER 17, 2019: The AKA HBCU Endowment Campaign has been EXTENDED through today! There’s still time to help us raise $1 million! You can support our wonderful HBCUs by donating to or text AKAHBCU to 44321.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® seeks to raise $1 million in 24 hours for a second consecutive year during HBCU Impact Day on September 16, 2019. As part of a four-year $10 million fundraising goal, AKA International President Dr. Glenda Glover is leading the challenge for contributions that can help to secure fiscal sustainability and success across all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“This year, we are simultaneously launching a ten-month campaign to secure larger corporate giving matches, corporate pledges and donations to our AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund, while continuing our efforts to support these all-important educational institutions,” said Dr. Glover, who is also president of Tennessee State University, and an HBCU graduate.

On September 16, as part of the sorority's recognition of HBCU Week, chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will host fundraising events around the globe. Donors can make contributions by texting AKAHBCU to 44321, giving by mail or online at during the 24-hour campaign. Money raised through HBCU Impact Day will assist in providing financial support to these schools over the next three years.

“Last year, our members and supporters surpassed our million dollar goal in one day, and we began distributing funds almost immediately to support HBCUs around the country,” added Dr. Glover.

“This was a historic moment for Alpha Kappa Alpha, but it was also just as historic and meaningful for our HBCU families.”

In February, AKA gifted $1.6 million from their AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund to 32 HBCUs. Presidents from these institutions joined Dr. Glover and sorority leadership at a special Black History Month program at the Ivy Center International Headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.

Organizations that provided the largest corporate matches to the AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund in 2018 were Caterpillar, General Electric, Hilton, Houston ISD, IBM, SAP America, State Farm Companies Foundation, UnitedHealth Group, and Wells Fargo Bank.

These endowment funds can help schools reduce student debt through scholarships, fund industry-specific research, recruit and retain top faculty, and much more. According to The Network Journal, roughly a quarter of all African Americans with bachelor degrees graduated from an HBCU (22%). HBCUs have historically served all people regardless of race or economic standing and continue to do so. These schools are often the largest employer in rural areas, and educate students from pre-K through college via teacher education programs, charter schools and early college high schools housed on their campuses. AKA believes the importance of these environments of higher learning and the need to support them has never diminished.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

1,000 HBCU students to receive free access to textbooks from UNCF, Cengage partnership

1,000 HBCU Students to Receive Free Access to More than 22,000 Cengage Course Materials, Online Homework Access Codes, Study Guides and More
Cengage and UNCF have announced a program to provide 1,000 students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with free, semester-long subscriptions to Cengage Unlimited. UNCF, the largest educational organization supporting and advocating for minorities for nearly 75 years, will administer the program and select the recipients on behalf of Cengage.
“Every student should have an equal opportunity to succeed, and having the right learning materials can have a critical impact on performance,” said Michael Hansen, CEO, Cengage. “The high cost of textbooks have prohibited this for many students. This is why we launched Cengage Unlimited – to make quality learning more affordable. UNCF has helped thousands of learners, enabling opportunity for minority students through its financial support and public advocacy. We are proud to partner with UNCF to ease some of the financial burden these students face and ensure they are equipped with the tools they need to reach their full potential.”
Cengage Unlimited is the industry’s first all-access digital subscription for college textbooks and course materials. A subscription offers access to more than 22,000 Cengage eBooks, online homework access codes and study guides for $119.99 a semester, no matter how many products they use. A subscription also includes free access to resources from Evernote, Kaplan, Quizlet and Chegg.
In the 2018-2019 academic year, Cengage Unlimited saved students more than $60 million.
“For 75 years, our motto ‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in,’ ® has remained at the forefront of everything we do,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF. “We must continue to invest our time and money in better futures for young people around the country. Partners like Cengage are vitally important to this work and we are pleased to have them as an ally in helping to educate the next generation of leaders.”
Program eligibility is based on several factors, including financial need, a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, an essay and letter of recommendation.  Five hundred subscriptions each will be awarded for the Fall 2019 semester and the Spring 2020 semester.  Applications are being accepted through August 29, 2019 for the fall semester. Applications for the Spring 2020 semester will open on November 4, 2019.
For more information on eligibility and to apply for the program click here, or visit:
According to a recent study by Morning Consult on behalf of Cengage, textbook costs are the second largest stressor facing college students today after paying for tuition.  In the same study, 60 percent of African American students noted they have opted not to buy required textbooks and course materials, and 52 percent said buying course materials has a big impact on their finances while in school.

About Cengage
Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. As the largest US-based provider of teaching and learning materials for higher education, we offer valuable options at affordable price points. Our industry-leading initiatives include Cengage Unlimited, the first-of-its-kind all-access digital subscription service.  We embrace innovation to create learning experiences that build confidence and momentum toward the future students want. Headquartered in Boston, Cengage also serves K-12, library and workforce training markets around the world. Visit us at or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

About UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at, or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms To Deliver Spelman College Commencement Address

The Honorable Keisha Lance Bottoms, current mayor of Atlanta, has been named keynote speaker for the Spelman College 132nd Commencement ceremony. The 60th Mayor of Atlanta will address 474 graduates in the Class of 2019 and 9,000 of their family and friends on Sunday, May 19, 2019, at 3 p.m., at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta. Mayor Bottoms will also receive the National Community Service Award in recognition of her service as a lifelong public servant and commitment to addressing local, state and national issues.

Mayor Bottoms is the only mayor in Atlanta's history to have served in all three branches of government, serving as a judge and city councilmember before being sworn in as mayor. Leading with a progressive agenda focused on equity and affordable housing, Mayor Bottoms serves as chair of the Community Development and Housing Committee for the United States Conference of Mayors.

Only the second woman to be elected to Atlanta's highest office, Mayor Bottoms has demonstrated her courageous leadership through initiatives like the citywide elimination of cash bail bonds, the closure of the Atlanta City Detention Center to ICE detainees, and the launch of Atlanta's financial transparency platform – Open Checkbook. During her time on city council, she launched Invest in Southwest , a 360-degree urban planning initiative with the goal of revitalizing and expanding economic development within the Southwest Atlanta community. She also authored panhandling legislation, which combined empathy with enforcement, and resulted in offenders receiving often-needed social services to help break the cycle of recidivism.

"Atlanta is fortunate to have such a dynamic leader as Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who has had a tremendous impact on the city, in particular on the Westside, where Spelman is located," said Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D. "She stands as an example for Spelman students of how to effectively lead the country's bedrock for civil and human rights, while navigating complex issues, prioritizing civic engagement and advancing Atlanta's progress in global commerce and equity. We look forward to Mayor Bottoms sharing her experience with the class of 2019."

Under Mayor Bottoms' leadership, the City of Atlanta recently led the successful staging of Super Bowl LIII, which included unprecedented community benefits – a $2.4 million renovation of John F. Kennedy Park on Atlanta's Westside, more than 20,000 trees planted throughout the community and the seamless coordination of 40 federal, state and local public safety agencies.

Mayor Bottoms has volunteered and served on the board of numerous community organizations, including The Children's School, the Firefighters' Pension Fund, the Andrew and Walter Young YMCA, the YWCA of Atlanta, Cure for Childhood Cancer and Central Atlanta Progress. She has been a member of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights – Women's Solidarity Society and also served on the board of Families First, where she often shared her personal story of adoption and advocates on behalf of adoption and foster care.

"Spelman College is a beacon of excellence across the globe and I am honored to stand among the many fearless women who have graced this space to share life lessons with the graduates as they journey into their next chapter," said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. "I am equally grateful to receive the 2019 National Community Service Award. Thank you, Spelman College, for the thoughtfulness in this recognition."

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Dr. Leroy Staggers named 10th President of HBCU, Morris College

(SUMTER, S.C.) –Faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of Morris College celebrated the new leadership of the college with the official Presidential Investiture of Dr. Leroy Staggers.

Dozens of supporters filled the seats of the Neal-Jones auditorium Friday to celebrate the next chapter in Morris College history, led by Dr. Leroy Stagger as the College’s tenth president.

Delegates representing higher education as well as professional and political associations welcomed the elected president with a purpose, invocation, scripture reading, musical selections, and greetings.

The ceremony began with an African Welcome by the Caroline Mack Center for the Arts and a drum performance by Ms. Natalie Williams and Mr. Jamey Johnson. The college’s choir direct, Mr. Herbert Johnson led the crowd to sing the National Negro Anthem before Dr. Mack T. Hines, Immediate Past Chairman of the Morris College Board of Trustees (BOT) gave a ceremonial welcome.

The purpose was given by the Co-Chair of the Presidential Investiture Committee, Elder J. Elbert Williams followed by the Invocation given by Dr. Jamey O. Graham, Vice President at Large of the Baptist Education and Missionary Convention of South Carolina, Inc.

The crowd was moved by the chilling vocals of soloist Thelma Isaac as she sang Amazing Grace following the scripture reading and The Lord’s Prayer, before the presidential response.

Many distinguished leaders gave greetings. The Honorable J. Thomas McElveen, III spoke first followed by the Hon. James. T. McCain who announced the proclamation of April 12, 2019, being named “Dr. Leroy Staggers Day” by the Sumter County Council. Mayor Hon. Joseph T. McElveen Jr. spoke on the great work Dr. Staggers has shown over the twenty-plus years the two have been working in Sumter. His long-time friend Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, president of Claflin University also offered words of encouragement followed by remarks from the faculty and staff, alumni, and student government association.

Jane Luther Smith, Senior Instructor of Music at the University of South Carolina-Sumter, played a musical piece on the piano following the greetings.

The college has not had an investiture ceremony in over four-decades since Dr. Luns C. Richardson was named the college president in 1974. Dr. Richardson transitioned in 2017 following retirement.

The installation of Dr. Staggers as the tenth president called for a Presidential Charge which was given by the President and CEO or the United Negro College Fund, Dr. Michael Lomax. In the Presidential Charge, Dr. Lomax challenged the tenth president to take on a life-long commitment to remain a “student-centered and student-focused president.”

He challenged Dr. Staggers to remain a role model and continue to transform lives.

Upon receiving his robe, medallion and mace, the newly named tenth president of Morris College stood before the crowded auditorium and delivered his Presidential Response.

Dr. Staggers acknowledged the ninth president for being a great leader while he served under him for nearly two decades.

“My vision for Morris College is to build onto the great achievements of Dr. Richardson.”

“I had the blessing and good fortune to sit under Dr. Richardson as dean for 17-years,” he boasted proudly into the crowd.

He spoke on the transformations that the college has made for over a century, producing great scholars since the campus was chartered in 1911 with just two wooden buildings to house the college courses.

Dr. Staggers responded to the presidential charge with confidence and high esteem.

“Dr. Lomax, I understand the hopes, dreams, and ambitions of our students and their parents. Therefore I do accept this challenge, and I will be a student-centered and student-focused president. I will work diligently to keep students front and center, in all of my decisions. For all of the students that come through the Morris [College] gate, I will lead the faculty and the staff to ensure that students do learn and learn well and become college graduates and depart to serve. Together with the faculty, staff, and other constituents, we will motivate students, encourage them and nurture them. We will see to it that each becomes a successful college graduate. We will help students to realize their true potential and use it. Dr. Lomax, I concur wholeheartedly with you, 100 percent, about the benefits and value of a college degree. I commit today to a laser-focused purpose on this goal of creating college graduates of those students that enter our gate. “

He accepted the challenge to remain committed through all of the institution's trials and tribulations and asked for God’s guidance in getting him through all there is to come.

“I ask for God’s guidance, I pray for courage, and I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Monday, February 04, 2019

Kamala Harris Introduces Legislation to Preserve Buildings and Sites at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Today, U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reintroduced a bill to reauthorize the Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) Historic Preservation Program for fiscal years 2019 to 2025. Across more than 100 HBCUs around the country, historic buildings and sites—some more than 100 years old—have deteriorated over time and are at risk of being permanently lost if they are not preserved and protected. The bill would authorize funding for grants to restore these historic buildings and sites, as well as improve accessibility on many HBCU campuses.
 The bill is a Senate companion of House legislation introduced by U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC).
 “During my time as a student at Howard University, I was proud and humbled to walk the same hallways as historic figures like Thurgood Marshall, Zora Neale Hurston, and Shirley Franklin,” said Harris. “The history represented at Howard and across every other HBCU imbues special meaning on each campus and reminds students that they can come as they are and leave as the person they aspire to be. I’m proud to introduce this legislation to preserve and improve HBCUs around the country for our future generations.”
 “Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have played a vital role in American higher education,” said Graham.  “With their long, rich history, HBCUs have helped many students achieve their full potential.  I’m pleased to join this bipartisan effort to strengthen these fine institutions and the Americans who have benefitted from the important role played by HBCU’s.”
“I welcome and fully support this effort to continue our stewardship to preserve these important pieces of American history, and as I have for the last several Congresses, I am introducing companion legislation in the House,” said Clyburn.
 Supporters of the legislation include The United Negro College Fund, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
“Our Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are one of the most important vehicles for higher education and upward mobility in America. Without them, we would have no Thurgood Marshall, Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Jordan or Chadwick Boseman. I commend Senator Harris and the bipartisan group of Senate co-sponsors for working to ensure that the rich legacy of our nation's HBCU's are preserved through the reauthorization of the HBCU Historic Preservation legislation.” -- Dr. Harry L. Williams, president & CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund.  
“The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Historic Preservation Fund remains a vital program for HBCUs and a program that UNCF has historically championed. UNCF firmly believes in the value added to HBCUs who are able to receive financial assistance to preserve the historic structures on their campuses. Against substantial odds, HBCUs have played a unique role in transforming the landscape of higher education in the United States and continue to prepare the African American professional and civic leaders needed by communities, employers and the nation. UNCF offers its full support of this piece of legislation and hope to see this bill signed into law.” -- Lodriguez Murray, UNCF Vice President for Public Policy and Government Affairs
“From Morehouse College in Atlanta to Howard University right here in Washington, DC, Historically Black Colleges and Universities reflect the determination of generations of Black Americans to receive a quality education, even in the face of profound discrimination. We thank Senator Harris and Representative Clyburn for their dedication to preserving these testaments to African American achievement, activism and the Black educational experience, and reauthorizing the HBCU Historic Preservation Program to ensure that the historic buildings on HBCU campuses will continue to inspire and educate future generations.” -- Brent Leggs, director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
 In addition to Senators Harris and Graham, co-sponsors of the bill include Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Doug Jones (D-AL), and Tim Scott (R-SC).

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. to present Bennett College with $100,000 Endowment

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the country’s oldest African-American sorority, has pledged an endowment in the amount of $100,000 to Bennett College. The gift is one of the largest the Institution has received since announcing on Dec.11, 2018, that it must raise a minimum of $5 million to remain accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded on Jan. 15, 1908, on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. The sorority has about 300,000 members worldwide. Notable members include Congresswoman Kamala Harris, who this week announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States, actress Phylicia Rashad and author Toni Morrison.
Bennett College President Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins was notified of the gift in a letter from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. International President Dr. Glenda Glover, who said the sorority wanted to support Bennett because of its national goal to support and make an impact on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The endowment will be presented at a Black History Month gathering of HBCU presidents at Alpha Kappa Alpha’s International Headquarters in Chicago.
“As an HBCU graduate and someone who has dedicated my life’s work to the HBCU community, I personally know the impact that establishing an endowment has on a student’s enrollment or graduation prospects,” said Glover. “Our organization has established the AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund with the goal of investing in the future of our young people and the sustainability of our treasured Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Over the next four years, we have pledged to donate a total of $10 million towards the endowment. We are honored to provide Bennett College with their full endowment immediately to support their fundraising goals.”
Dawkins said the Bennett College family is grateful to Alpha Kappa Alpha for the generous donation. In addition, local AKA chapters have been very supportive of Bennett.
“On behalf of the Bennett College Board of Trustees, as well as our faculty, staff and students, I can’t thank President Glover and the members of AKA enough for their donation to Bennett College,” Dawkins said. “While we appreciate all of the support Bennett has received from individuals, foundations and corporations, substantial gifts like the one from AKA will go a long way toward helping us reach our fundraising goal of a minimum of $5 million by Feb. 1. We are truly appreciative to the women of AKA for their amazing support.”
On Dec. 11, 2018, Bennett College was removed from membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Bennett immediately appealed the decision and remains accredited during the appeal process. Bennett was removed strictly for financial reasons and was not issued sanctions against its academics, leadership, faculty or students.
Founded in 1873 as a coeducational institution, Bennett became women’s only in 1926. Spelman College in Atlanta is the country’s only other all-women’s HBCU.
Bennett has a history of producing outstanding women leaders, including: the first woman or African-American to head the U.S. Peace Corps; the screenplay writer for “The Loving Story,” which in 2016 was made into an Academy Award-nominated motion picture; the Deputy Minority Leader in the N.C. General Assembly; the first African-American female dentist in Indiana; the first African-American woman to serve as an Assistant Attorney General in Massachusetts; the first woman to hold the position of Director of Drug Program and Policies within the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA); and the first active teacher and youngest person to be elected to the Berkeley (California) Unified School District School Board.
Current Bennett students and recent grads are also impressive, including senior business administration major Tyler Binion, who was selected among 63 students to serve as a Competitiveness Scholar through the White House Initiative on HBCUs, and Delrisha White ’13, who enrolled in Bennett from the foster care system in San Francisco and became SGA President.  She graduated with honors and is now earning her master’s degree at Harvard.
Ways to give to Bennett College:
  • Online:
  • Text2Give: Text the word BELLES to the number 444999
  • Cash App: $StandwithBennett
  • S. Mail: Send a check to Bennett College, Office of Institutional Advancement, 900 E. Washington St., Greensboro, N.C. 27401

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

UNCF Launches the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program for Students Attending HBCUs

$200,000 in awards eligible to scholars enrolled in public and private four-year HBCUs
In commemoration of the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Douglass, a scholarship program was launched today in support of students attending accredited historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) nationwide. The program, which recognizes and celebrates one of the most transformative figures in our nation’s history, will be administered and managed by UNCF (United Negro College Fund) for a period of 20 years, through 2039.
The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program was established by New York City native Tony Signore, whose knowledge, respect and deep admiration for Douglass was instilled in him more than 35 years ago by the Jesuits at Fordham University. To honor one of the most important African American figures in our country’s history, the Signore Family designed and funded the program to recognize this historic leader, providing scholarship support to outstanding young women and men. It is the first ever Frederick Douglass scholarship aligned exclusively with accredited, four-year public and private HBCUs across the country.
The program will award a $10,000 scholarship to one exceptional HBCU senior per year who has demonstrated high academic achievement, strong leadership skills, commitment to community service and unmet financial need.
“It’s an incredible honor and privilege for our family to celebrate the life of a true American hero,” said Tony Signore, founder and chairman of The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship. “On the 200th anniversary of his birth, it is with great reverence that we reflect upon the legacy of a great man and leader who had such a profound impact on our nation’s history. We also understand the importance and responsibility of supporting HBCU scholars who demonstrate their passion for education.”
Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, who was born into slavery in Talbot County, Maryland in 1818, became one of the most famous intellectuals of his time. His journey from an enslaved child, separated at birth from his mother, to one of the most articulate orators of the 19th century, was nothing short of extraordinary. At the age of 20, after several failed attempts, he escaped from slavery and arrived in New York City on September 4, 1838, before settling in New Bedford, Massachusetts with his wife, Anna.
The man who became known to the world as “Frederick Douglass” dedicated his life to the abolitionist movement and the equality of all people. In doing so, Douglass went on to become a great writer, orator, publisher, civil rights leader and government official. Douglass wrote three autobiographies, with his first and best-known, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, published in 1845. It became an immediate best-seller and was circulated throughout the United States and Europe. The Library of Congress named the Narrative one of the “88 Books that Shaped America.”
The father of the abolitionist movement, who advised presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson on the Civil War and black suffrage, respectively, has provided our country with lessons that remain relevant and impactful to this day. Throughout his life, Douglass was steadfast in his commitment to breaking down barriers between the races. His courage, passion, intellect and magnificent written and oratory skills inspired hundreds of the world’s most prominent civil rights activists of the 20th century, as well as pioneers of the women’s rights movement.
“The narrative of Douglass’s life is the foundation upon which many of us owe our path to a quality education,” said Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO, UNCF. “Paying homage to this great pioneer through The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program is not only admirable but speaks on the responsibility we all have in paving a road for the next generation of leaders.”
Selection Criteria
The inaugural application will open during the 2018-19 academic year, with annual applications thereafter through the 2038-39 academic year. Applicants for the program must meet the following criteria:
1. Be enrolled full-time as a senior at any accredited public or private four-year historically black college or university (HBCU). 
2. Possess a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale as verified through submission of a current transcript. 
3. Demonstrate a commitment to community service. 
4. Have a demonstrated, unmet financial need as verified by their college or university.
Application Process
Applications are to be submitted online and include:
1. Two letters of recommendation from faculty members on how the applicant reflects the values espoused by Frederick Douglass. 
2. Responses to two essay questions. The first requires the applicant to assess self-awareness, leadership and community involvement. The second will address the impact Frederick Douglass had on society in the 19th century and its relevance today as our nation continues to fight for equality.
The application will be available via UNCF’s website at All application materials must be received by the applicable deadline.
Program Administration and Selection Process
1. UNCF will administer and manage the program, which includes online applications, applicant relations, awarding and reporting. 
2. UNCF will screen all applications to ensure they are in compliance with the program, then thoroughly review and rank the applicant pool. 
3. UNCF will provide a list of its top 10 finalists to an esteemed panel of judges selected by Signore. The judges include the direct descendants of Frederick Douglass—Nettie Washington Douglass and Kenneth B. Morris, Jr.; senior academic leaders and scholars—Dr. Rochelle Ford and Dr. Benjamin Robinson; and Leon H. Carter, Vice President of ESPN and Founder of the Sports Journalism Institute. 
4. Following a thorough evaluation of the 10 finalists, the five judges will rank their top three finalists and submit their feedback to UNCF. 
5. UNCF will select one program award winner, annually, from the three finalists. Award winners will be provided a $10,000 scholarship during their senior year.
About UNCF 
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at, or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.
About Tony Signore 
Tony Signore is the CEO and managing partner at Taylor, a brand counselor and public relations partner to a select portfolio of the world’s leading consumer brands. The measurable results of his innovative approach, bold vision and unique business model were validated through the publication of a Harvard case study titled, “Transformation at Taylor.” His career accomplishments and influence on C-suite executives nationwide earned Signore a SABRE Award, the industry’s highest honor for outstanding individual achievement.
Signore, a graduate of Fordham University, resides in New York City with his wife, Elizabeth. They have three children: Rocco (23), Yvette (22) and Ashley (21).

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Virginia State University named best HBCU of the year

On Friday, June 22, Virginia State University (VSU) was named the HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest. In addition, the University’s Board of Visitors received the Best Board of Trustees of the Year award and Trojan Brianna Bundick-Kelly was named the Female Student of the Year.

“Virginia State University demonstrated excellence across virtually all areas of the academic enterprise,” said Jarrett Carter Sr., founding editor of HBCU Digest. “The institution showcased stability in leadership, productivity in research and outreach in its programs of strength - agriculture, education, and business. Among all HBCUs, Virginia State was a top performer within the public higher education sector in attracting and retaining first-time college students, and it was among the most competitive institutions in excellence among its men’s and women’s athletic programs. Virginia State University was a model of success for all institutions, historically black or otherwise, during the last academic year and it was an honor to recognize the achievements of their executives, students, faculty and alumni at our annual ceremony.”

The HBCU Awards is the first and only awards ceremony honoring achievement at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) throughout the United States. The ceremony was hosted by HBCU Digest, an online blog site which reports on the news of HBCUs. Winners were selected by a panel of previous HBCU Award winners, presidents and chancellors, and members of the media, which cover HBCUs.

During his acceptance speech of the HBCU of the Year award, VSU President Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D. shared with the audience what makes VSU the best.

“It’s because of the incredible hard work and commitment of our wonderful faculty and staff who give of their time to our students,” President Abdullah said. “It’s our alumni who set a high standard for our students to follow. It’s the dedication of our Board of Visitors for all that they do for the University. I am proud to be the 14th president of Virginia State University.”

VSU was named as a finalist in seven categories. The other five categories were as follows: Best Male Athlete of the Year, Alumna of the Year, Male Coach of the Year, Best Men’s Team of the Year and Male President of the Year. Last year, VSU’s Reginald F. Lewis College of Business earned the Best Business Program award and President Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D. was named the Male President of the Year.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Beyoncé announces $100,000 in scholarships to HBCUs

Today, Beyoncé, through her BeyGOOD initiative, announces the four schools to receive the newly established Homecoming Scholars Award Program for the 2018-2019 academic year. The Universities, Xavier, Wilberforce, Tuskegee and Bethune-Cookman, are all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). HBCUs are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community.

On Saturday, April 14, Beyoncé made history at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival by becoming the first Black woman to headline in the festival's 19-year run.

The jubilant set, housed on a pyramid stage with 150-plus cast members, dutifully in-sync, was the first time the icon returned to her home, the stage, in over one year.

The show, with its homage to excellence in education, was a celebration of the homecoming weekend experience, the highest display of college pride. The energy-filled production put the spotlight on art and culture, mixing the ancient and the modern, which resonated masterfully through the marching band, performance art, choir and dance. It was the impetus to mark her second scholarship program.

"We salute the rich legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities," states Ivy McGregor, Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations at Parkwood Entertainment which houses BeyGOOD. "We honor all institutions of higher learning for maintaining culture and creating environments for optimal learning which expands dreams and the seas of possibilities for students."

One winner from each school will receive $25K for the 2018-2019 academic year for study in various fields. This is the second year for a scholars program created by Beyoncé.

The Formation Scholars Awards Program, a merit scholarship program was established in April 2017 in celebration of the one-year anniversary of LEMONADE, Beyoncé's critically-acclaimed and globally-lauded 2016 visual album. The Formation Scholars awards encouraged and supported young women who are bold, creative, conscious, confident and unafraid to think outside of the box.

The Homecoming Scholars Award Program for 2018-2019 will expand to all qualifying students at the four universities, regardless of gender. The disciplines will include literature, creative arts, African- American studies, science, education, business, communications, social sciences, computer science and engineering. All applicants must maintain a 3.5 GPA or above. All finalists and winners will be selected by the universities. Winners will be announced this summer.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Morehouse College Interim President William J. “Bill” Taggart has died

ATLANTA – June 8, 2017 – The Morehouse College Board of Trustees is mourning the loss of Interim President William J. "Bill" Taggart.  Interim President Taggart passed away unexpectedly Thursday at his home in Atlanta.
“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Bill Taggart, a beloved colleague, father and friend whom I’ve known for many years,” said Willie Woods, '85, Chairman of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees. “For the past two years, Bill devoted himself wholeheartedly to Morehouse College and we were pleased when he assumed the role of Interim President. We are eternally grateful for his loyal support, counsel and the leadership he provided to students, faculty and alumni.”
Woods continued, “Bill was a good friend and a beloved member of the Morehouse community. He was a strong leader who had a positive impact on Morehouse College, the greater Atlanta business community, and all those who knew him. Bill leaves behind a long legacy of commitment to others and unwavering integrity. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, and the entire Morehouse Community, we extend our sincerest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones he leaves behind during this difficult time.”
An Atlanta native, Interim President Taggart was appointed to lead Morehouse College on April 7, 2017. He brought more than 30 years of professional experience to the role. Prior to that, Interim President Taggart served as the College's Chief Operating Officer, beginning in 2015. 
Interim President Taggart worked closely with the Board of Trustees, students, faculty, staff, and alumni to lead and transform the institutional development, technology, campus operations, and human resources functions of the College. During this time, he also served as the external relations liaison to the Atlanta business and civic community, as well as with corporate America and various global philanthropic organizations.
Outside of Morehouse College, Interim President Taggart was actively involved in various business and civic organizations. He served as CEO of Atlanta Life Financial Group and was a key member of 100 Black Men of America, as well as the Rotary Club of Atlanta. He also served as chairman of the Atlanta Business League, and was a board member of The Carter Center, Woodruff Arts Center, Westside Future Fund, Carver Bank, and Children Healthcare of Atlanta. He was recently named to the 2018 Class of Leadership Atlanta. Interim President Taggart’s contributions within and outside of Morehouse College are a reflection of his immense dedication and commitment to his community.
The Board of Trustees will be working internally to determine its next steps and the future direction of the College. Provost Michael Hodge will serve as Acting President until a new Interim President is named by the Board of Trustees. 

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Chicago Student Earns Acceptance From 22 Black Universities

Ariyana Davis is an 18-year-old senior at Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School. She was able to apply to dozens of schools thanks to the Common Black College Application that allows students to apply to up to 50 HBCUs for a mere $35. She was accepted by 22 HBCUs, as well as Eastern Illinois University, a predominantly white institution.

“It was important for me to go to an institution that feels like home,” Davis added.

When her acceptances started to trickle in, Davis said she felt “excited and overjoyed.” The second-generation college student, who was offered a total of $300,000 in financial aid from all the schools, added that she felt “really grateful.”

Davis will attend Alcorn State University in Mississippi and is thinking about a master’s degree possibly at the University of Illinois.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

HBCU Presidents not impressed with Trump meeting

The Trump administration made a big deal of the meeting between Trump and several HBCU Presidents. Trump claimed that the meeting was successful and that it would help HBCUs. Well some HBCU Presidents such as Morehouse College's Dr. John Wilson Jr., and Dillard University's Walter M. Kimbrough didn't see it that way.
Statement from Dr. John Wilson Jr, Morehouse College: 
In a report from Fox 5 Atlanta, Morehouse College President Dr. John Wilson Jr., said that the White House had created high expectations after calling Trump’s executive order historic and revolutionary.
However, what the executive order really did was transfer the initiative on HBCUs from the Department of Education into the Executive Office of the White House. Also, no money is tied to the order. 
“I don’t mind saying, that we were — a number of us — were disappointed, not because of what we thought on our own leading up to this meeting, but what we were led to think,” Wilson said. “And so I think it was a little underwhelming to see that the most tangible differentiator that happened here was an office relocation.” [SOURCE]
Statement From Walter M. Kimbrough, Dillard University:
On Friday I learned that I was selected to give remarks today for the meeting at the White House with members of the Trump administration, most notably Secretary Betsy DeVos. We learned this weekend that there would be closing remarks by Vice President Pence, but the goal was for officials from a number of Federal agencies (about 5 were there including OMB) and Secretary DeVos to hear about HBCUs.
That all blew up when the decision was made to take the presidents to the Oval Office to see the President. I’m still processing that entire experience. But needless to say that threw the day off and there was very little listening to HBCU presidents today- we were only given about 2 minutes each, and that was cut to one minute, so only about 7 of maybe 15 or so speakers were given an opportunity today. [SOURCE]