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UNCF has donated more than $600 million in scholarships affording 60,000 students each year the opportunity to attend college. In addition to helping African American students, UNCF also supports Hispanic American, Asia/Pacific-American and Native American students through the Gates Millennium Scholar Program funded by Bill and Melinda Gates.
Throughout its 34-year history and in all its formats, UNCF An Evening of Stars®,
has made a major contribution to bringing UNCF’s mission of education to
wider public attention. The results demonstrate the success that UNCF and
its schools have achieved.
The latest edition of UNCF An Evening of Stars® will air nationwide in January
2013 on BET and selected local stations. Since 2011, the program has been
produced by BET under UNCF’s direction. Hosted by comedian and actor
Anthony Anderson, star of NBC’s Guys With Kids, will feature both
entertainment household names and rising stars, along with education
success stories of students who are getting their education with the support
of UNCF programs and initiatives. The expanded partnership between
UNCF, the nation’s largest and most effective minority education
organization, and BET, the country’s premiere producer and broadcaster of
programming for Americans of color, is a real opportunity to unite the
strength of the UNCF brand with BET’s valuable viewership, access to talent
and marketing resources.
Before adopting its current format, each year’s edition of UNCF An Evening
of Stars® honored a nationally known artist—honorees included Lou Rawls
(2004), Quincy Jones (2005), Stevie Wonder (2006), Aretha Franklin (2007),
Smokey Robinson (2008), Patti LaBelle (2009), Lionel Richie (2010) and Chaka
Khan (2011—both by presenting them with the UNCF Award of Excellence
and by featuring other, often younger, artists performing songs the honorees
had made famous.
The series began as The Lou Rawls Parade of Stars®, a three-hour syndicated
telethon. During its first year, The Lou Rawls Parade of Stars® telethon raised
$3.5 million for minority education. Celebrity appearances garnered support
for UNCF and educational excellence. Those classic shows featured top
entertainers, including Sammy Davis, Jr., Bill Cosby, Tony Bennett, The Four
Tops and The Commodores, as well as a special appearance by President
Over the years, The Lou Rawls Parade of Stars® became a 12-hour telethon
and made history by becoming the first nationally televised fund-raiser to
benefit minority higher education. It continued to feature a who’s who of the
nation’s most recognizable talent as performers and presenters for the show.
By the end of this important era, The Lou Rawls Parade of Stars® had raised
approximately $156.6 million for UNCF, its member institutions and students.
United Negro College Fund, Inc. 1805 7th Street, NW Washington, DC 20001
Who We Are UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective
minority education organization.
UNCF lives up to the ideal expressed in its universally recognized motto—“A mind is
a terrible thing to waste”®—by enabling more than 60,000 students each year to
attend college and get the education they need and the nation needs them to have
and by serving as a national advocate for the importance of education and college
readiness—the idea that every student needs and deserves a pre-college education
that prepares them for college coursework and college success.
UNCF helps increase minority degree attainment by:
Awarding more than 10,000 scholarships and internships each year, so
students from low- and moderate-income families can afford college tuition,
books and room and board.
Providing operating funds for its 38 member colleges, making it possible for
them to offer their students 21st century academic programs in a small college
environment and still keep their average cost approximately 30
percent lower than comparable institutions.
Serving as a national advocate for the importance of education by
representing students’ public policy interests in Washington, in newspapers
and magazines and on radio, TV and the Web and through the national
broadcast of UNCF An Evening of Stars®, the annual televised UNCF
celebration of excellence in education and entertainment.
UNCF manages approximately 400 programs that provide scholarships, internships,
academic support and mentoring to students. Since it began providing
scholarships, UNCF has awarded more than $615 million in scholarships to almost
50,000 undergraduate students. UNCF programs include:
Gates Millennium Scholars Program - A 20-year, $1.6 billion collaboration
with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that provides assistance to 5,000
low-income, high-achieving minority students at 900 colleges and universities
each year. Gates Millennium Scholars have six-year graduation rates of 90
percent, significantly higher than the overall national graduation rate and
comparable to graduation rates of students from higher-income families.
UNCF/Merck Science Initiative - A 20-year, $43.8 million program that has
provided undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral support to more than
500 students and scholars in the biological sciences and engineering.
Institute for Capacity Building - A suite of institutional capacity-building
programs that enable UNCF-member colleges and universities to become
stronger and more self-sustaining, improving their capabilities in such areas
as curriculum enhancement, fundraising and enrollment management.
Campaign for Emergency Student Aid - A just-in-time scholarship program
that enables UNCF-member college students to pay their tuition, text book
and dormitory bills so they can graduate and begin their careers.
Small Colleges, Major Impact
UNCF’s 38 member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) offer
students a small-college experience at affordable tuition and have made major
contributions to the communities in which their graduates live and raise their
families and to the nation as a whole.
HBCUs Produce College Graduates
HBCUs enroll only 11 percent of all African American undergraduates attending
postsecondary institutions, but award almost 20 percent of bachelor’s degrees
earned by African American students.
UNCF Schools Dominate U.S. News & World Report Rankings
UNCF-member colleges occupy seven of the top 10 places in the 2012 U.S. News &
World Report‘s ranking of black colleges and universities.
HBCUs Prepare Students for Graduate Degrees
HBCUs represent eight of the top 10 colleges graduating African American students
who go on to earn doctoral degrees in science and engineering. Approximately 33
percent of African Americans with doctorates earned their bachelor’s degrees from
Many of the nation's leading figures in government, education, literature, the arts
and media graduated from UNCF member colleges. Well-known alumni of UNCF
* Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
* Dr. Regina Benjamin, U.S. Surgeon General
* Rep. John Lewis, (D-GA) U.S. Representative and civil rights pioneer
* Samuel L. Jackson, actor
* Dr. Ruth Simmons, former president, Brown University
* Tom Joyner, radio personality and philanthropist
* Lionel Richie, award-winning composer, singer
* Marian Wright Edelman, founder/president of Children’s Defense Fund
* Nikki Giovanni, poet
* Spike Lee, award-winning film director, producer, actor
* Alvin J. Boutte, founder and CEO of Indecorp, the largest black-owned U.S.
* UNCF has raised more than $3.6 billion to enable more than 400,000
deserving students to attend UNCF-member colleges and earn the college
degrees they want and need but might not otherwise be able to afford.
* UNCF has earned the top evaluation from the American Institute for
Philanthropy and is ranked among the country's top charitable organizations
by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. UNCF president and CEO Dr. Michael L.
Lomax has been named to the Non-Profit Times’ “Top 50” list.
* UNCF maintained a low cost ratio of 9.91 percent of total revenues—5.46
percent for administrative costs and 4.45 percent for fundraising in fiscal year
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