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Sorority donates $1.6M to black colleges and universities

3/6/2019, noon | Updated on 3/6/2019, noon
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. recently donated $1.6 million to 32 historically black colleges and universities including Chicago State University, ...
At a Feb. 28, 2019 check presentation by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. 32 presidents from historically black colleges and universities each received $50,000 as part of the organization’s initiative to raise $10 million over the next four years for needy students. Photo by Wendell Hutson

Sorority donates $1.6M to black colleges and universities

BY WENDELL HUTSON, Contributing Writer

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. recently donated $1.6 million to 32 historically black colleges and universities including Chicago State University, and plans to raise millions more over the next four years.

A Feb. 28 check presentation was made to the schools at the organization’s Hyde Park headquarters where each school received $50,000, which was distributed by the AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund.

The fund’s goal, said Glenda Glover, president of AKA, is to raise $10 million to help needy students at 100 HBCUs.

“Endowments represent sustainability and we want to ensure that HBCUs are sustained as we going through this process,” said Glover.

“Schools were chosen based on a number of factors, such as enrollment

and their endowment size.” She said donations could be made to the Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation online at akaeaf.org.

An endowment created specifically for HBCUs is sorely needed these days when many colleges are struggling financially, explained James Anderson, chancellor of Fayetteville State University in North Carolina.

“It’s a tough time for all HBCUs and that’s why it’s important for everyone to step up and help just like AKA has done. As HBCUs, we have a moral responsibility to our community to educate our students,” said Anderson. “And unlike other universities, we’re not tied to corporations

like most major universities, predominately white universities, so

scholarships for students are always needed.”

And keeping HBCUs open is vital to the future of black students, said

Cynthia Warrick, president of Stillman College in Alabama.

“HBCUs are responsible for establishing the black, middle-class in this country and we will continue to do that but we need the community’s

support,” said Warrick. “We grow leaders at HBCUs. That’s the difference between us and private colleges.”

As an alumnus of Tennessee State University, Glover added that HBCUs face challenges most other colleges do not face, yet are still able to produce results.

As an HBCU graduate and someone who has dedicated her life’s work

to the HBCU community, Glover added, “Implementing an endowment

fund is a critical need and has been a priority for my administration since I took office last year. Alpha Kappa Alpha’s 111-year history is deeply interwoven into the history of HBCUs and therefore it is imperative that we continue to invest in these treasured institutions.”

Besides Chicago State the other receiving schools were Albany State

University, Alcorn State University, American Baptist College, Bennett College for Women, Coppin State University, Fayetteville State University,

Florida Memorial University, Fort Valley State University, Grambling State University, Harris-Stowe State University, Le Moyne-Owen College, Lincoln University, Livingstone College, Miles College, Mississippi Valley State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina Central University, Philander Smith College, Savannah State University, Shaw University, South

Carolina State University, Southern University at New Orleans, St. Augustine’s University, Stillman College, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Voorhees College, West Virginia State University, Wilberforce University, Wiley College, Paul Quinn College and Edward Waters College.

According to its website, AKA is an international service organization

founded in 1908 on the campus of Howard University in Washington,

D.C. And it is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by black

college-educated women. AKA is comprised of nearly 300,000 members

in more than 1,000 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United

States, Liberia, the Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Germany, South Korea,

Bermuda, Japan, Canada, South Africa, and the Middle East.