Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) continue to make their way into conversation on the daily. At times, the conversation is linked to its prominent alumni, such as Howard University graduate and 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, who has the audible support of her Sorors from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (or AKA). Sometimes it’s about prominent people who would like to or plan to become HBCU graduates, a la Nick Cannon, Ray J and Chance The Rapper.
However, it warms our hearts the most when it’s about the gift of giving. Alpha Kappa Alpha (which was founded on the campus of Howard University) reportedly established the AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund in partnership with their Educational Advancement Foundation. During a time where some HBCUs are struggling with their financial footing, the fund aims to create a sense of stability by pledging to distribute $10 million in financial support to 96 accredited institutions.
And the icing on the cake? On Feb. 28, 2019, AKA will gift the first installment of the endowment, $50,000, to presidents from 32 of those participating HBCUs. That moment will take place at the sorority’s international headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. The announcement came 15 days after the organizations Founders’ Day.
“As an HBCU graduate and someone who has dedicated my life’s work to the HBCU community, I personally know that the financial challenges of many institutions have an impact on student enrollment, retention and graduation rates,” said Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. International President Dr. Glenda Glover. “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.”
What a great way to kick off Black History Month.