The #11 has several unique features, including an illustration of HBCU college graduates, “Shaping Black Futures” on the quarter panel, and four HBCU school logos – Jackson State University, Tennessee State University, Mississippi Valley State University and LeMoyne- Owen College – on the rear bumper. (Courtesy photo)

When the #11 FedEx Toyota races around Daytona International Speedway at the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday, four historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will be on board.

FedEx and NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin unveiled the car’s special paint scheme on Wednesday.

The #11 has several unique features, including an illustration of HBCU college graduates, “Shaping Black Futures” on the quarter panel, and four HBCU school logos – Jackson State University, Tennessee State University, Mississippi Valley State University and LeMoyne- Owen College – on the rear bumper.

LeMoyne-Owen is Memphis’ only HBCU.

“We are very excited about having the opportunity to have our HBCU recognized as of one of the four HBCUS to be on that car … in Daytona,” said William B. Anderson, LeMoyne-Owen’s athletic director. “It’s tremendous.”

The Shaping Black Futures initiative delivered by FedEx is a collective of experiential concepts that support the Black community, specifically highlighting education and career readiness. FedEx has supported HBCUs to help cultivate the next generation of leaders since the early 2000s.

In February, FedEx announced a new $5 million HBCU initiative.

“We are so appreciative to FedEx leadership for this innovative program to address some of the long-standing issues faced by HBCU students,” said TSU President Dr. Glenda Glover.

“It is no secret that many of the challenges faced by students at TSU relate to limited funds. This partnership is a great example of public and private entities collaborating to enhance the higher education experience for African-American students.”

TSU senior Ammria Carter, a political science major from Cleveland, Ohio, said, “FedEx prioritizing HBCUs during the current climate of our economy means so much to so many people. …

“I hope that this act of generosity will spark other companies to consider donating and partnering with HBCUs, especially our beloved Tennessee State University.”

FedEx’s longstanding support of HBCUs includes:

* Endowed scholarships at Jackson State University, Tennessee State University and LeMoyne-Owen College;

* A customized career readiness program established at Mississippi Valley State University; and

* Leadership summits in support of the Southern Heritage Classic for students at both Tennessee State University and Jackson State University.

(TSD sports columnist Terry Davis contributed to this story.)