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UNCF Gala Raises More Than $1 Million To Support HBCUs

UNCF Gala Raises More Than $1 Million To Support HBCUs

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UNCF Gala Raises More Than 1 Million To Support HBCUs

HBCUs have a bright future.

United Negro College Fund (UNCF) has a longstanding tradition of aiding students at historically Black colleges and universities to attend, graduate from, or both. To this end, UNCF raises money, creates public awareness campaigns, and advocates for educational advancement.

One way we raise funds for HBCUs is through our annual Mayor's Masked Ball. This event draws top corporate, business, and community leaders to support UNCF and HBCUs.

HBCUs Are Getting Bigger Donations

On March 25th, 2017, The UNCF Gala celebrated its 75th anniversary and raised more than $1 million to assist HBCUs and students of color in their college journeys. It also unveiled a bold vision for the future of these institutions as well as higher education in general.

More than 75 years later, the nation's leading nonprofit provider of scholarships and educational support for African American and other underserved students remains strong. They have raised an incredible $5 billion from donors of all types and backgrounds to ensure deserving students get both academic and personal assistance to earn their college degrees.

UNCF has made a lasting difference in the lives of students at its 37 member HBCUs, other HBCUs around America, and students of color from all walks of life who aspire to attend and graduate college. Through their generosity and hard work, UNCF staff have truly made a difference for these students' prospects.

But it isn't enough. HBCUs are struggling to remain solvent in an era of decreasing state funding. That is why HBCUs need the significant fundraising and support from UNCF Galas - especially this year!

On December 17th, UNCF's Mayor's Masked Ball in Atlanta enjoyed a record amount of celebrity donations from Usher, Jeezy, Future and Tyrese - setting it on course to achieve even greater financial success. According to Atlanta Black Star magazine, these amounts set an all-time record for donations at this annual event.

UNCF's scholarship fund for HBCUs has doubled from $10 million to $20 million annually, meaning more than 10,000 students will benefit from such support each year.

This additional support, combined with recent contributions from corporate giants like Colgate Palmolive and Ralph Lauren Corporation, will have a major effect on UNCF's mission to empower underserved students to succeed in college. The money comes as part of Fidelity Investments' Invest in My Education (ME) program which commits $250 million over five years to help up to 50,000 historically underserved students achieve success.

These funds will enable UNCF to develop and sustain new programs and services for HBCUs and other colleges. For instance, the fund recently added a financial literacy initiative that helps students become more responsible financial managers of their money.

UNCF organizes numerous events throughout the year to raise awareness and funds for needy students in cities around America. From masked balls and galas to breakfasts, teas, and luncheons - there are plenty of chances to show your support for students in your region while learning more about how you can assist them with achieving their college degree aspirations.

These events are free and open to the public, though it's important to note that some require attendees to possess COVID vaccination cards. You can check with the presenting offices for more details regarding this requirement.

They’re Getting Better Scholarships

On March 2 in Washington D.C., UNCF held their renowned National "A Mind Is..."(r) Gala which raised more than $1 million to support UNCF-member institutions, other HBCUs and students of color as they pursue higher education opportunities. Among the guests were several UNCF board members, member presidents and alumni from 37 of UNCF's member institutions.

As the largest and most effective minority education organization in America, UNCF helps its 37 member colleges and universities fulfill students' college aspirations by offering scholarships, internships, fellowships, mentoring programs, summer enrichment activities, curriculum development opportunities and faculty development initiatives. These initiatives have been proven to increase graduation rates, improve student outcomes and enhance success for those from underserved communities.

Research funded by the UNCF shows that HBCUs serve more than a fifth of Black students and graduate at rates higher than PWIs (predominantly white institutions). Furthermore, these schools have an immense positive effect on their local communities, providing employment opportunities and stimulating economic development.

Unfortunately, HBCUs often face financial hardship due to smaller endowments, higher rates of students receiving federal aid and limited access to federal funding programs. Therefore, UNCF has implemented several initiatives designed to provide these institutions with the support they need in order to stay open their doors.

One such initiative is the Disney UNCF Corporate Scholars Program, which offers financial support to rising Black talent pursuing degrees in finance, human resources, legal, production/media and technology. Through this initiative, more than 1,000 scholarships will be awarded over the next three years to undergraduates from HBCUs across various fields of study.

In addition to the Disney program, other scholarships are available for students in need. UNCF's scholarship program awards up to $25k per student who has shown exceptional academic potential and is dedicated to making a difference in their community.

Programs such as the UNCF Career Pathways Initiative, which offers grants to HBCUs to develop and implement innovative career pathways that promote diversity, equity and inclusion within their academic departments and beyond, have made a lasting impression on students at these institutions across America.

HBCUs are an integral component of America's higher education system. They provide a quality education and nurturing learning atmosphere to more than a fifth of African American students, aiding them in earning their baccalaureate degrees and positioning them to assume leadership roles within their communities.

But there is much work to be done in order to guarantee HBCUs can continue serving their students and communities for decades into the future. In 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order encouraging federal agencies to collaborate more closely with HBCUs on funding and contracts. While this order is an important first step, HBCUs say there are no enforcement mechanisms and are seeking a new law which will make them more accountable to taxpayers.

They’re Getting More Support

One of the primary ways HBCUs are finding more support is through UNCF Gala, which has raised over $1 million to assist students with college expenses. Not only does this show your appreciation and raise money for HBCUs, but it also spreads awareness about them to those who may not have known much about them before.

UNCF strives to increase the number of African American college graduates by focusing on three pillars: positioning member institutions as viable college options for students, creating transformational support programs to ensure students enroll and persist through college, and cultivating college-going behaviors within African American communities.

On March 2, UNCF held their National "A Mind Is..."(r) Gala to commemorate their dedication to supporting students of color in pursuing and completing college. Additionally, over 500 guests joined in honoring UNCF's many exceptional partners who are working to expand educational opportunities for these bright young minds.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and UNCF President Michael Lomax hosted the gala at Atlanta Marriott Marquis Atrium Ballroom. This elegant evening featured R & B recording artist Charlie Wilson as well as other distinguished guests.

Attendees donned their finest to raise funds for UNCF and its 37 member HBCUs. Among those in attendance were members of the Board of Directors as well as member presidents.

At the event, MetLife Foundation provided an additional $1 million in scholarship funding for UNCF's scholarship programs. This support will go toward scholarships for African American students majoring in business, accounting or finance at HBCUs.

Since 1946, MetLife has been an enthusiastic supporter of UNCF. Their latest donation will enable more students to access financial aid services provided by UNCF.

At the gala, President and CEO of MetLife Michel Khalaf revealed that their foundation has committed an additional $1 million in scholarship funding for UNCF's programs. This new fund complements the MetLife Foundation Scholarship Fund that has been supporting HBCU students since 2020.

This is an exciting development for HBCUs, as it allows them to offer more scholarships and better serve their students. This will help them remain financially stable while attracting qualified applicants.

Furthermore, this will enable them to continue providing high-quality education and meet their mission. Furthermore, it gives them a chance to showcase the new campus buildings and other amenities that they have been working on.

HBCUs have made tremendous strides in recent years to educate students and give them a chance for success. Their achievements are the product of hard work and dedication, and as long as HBCUs remain committed to this cause, their influence will continue to reach far into the lives of many African Americans - from future leaders and entrepreneurs to everyday working people.

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