72.6 F
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Buy now


UNCF elects first African American to serve as board chairman

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) made history this week with the announcement that an African American will chair its board of directors for the first since the organization’s founding in 1944.

Atlanta business and civic leader Milton C. Jones will now chair the organization that funds 37 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), including LeMoyne-Owen College, Rust College in Holly Springs, Lane College in Jackson, Fisk University in Nashville, Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi and Philander Smith College in Little Rock.

A founding member of Peachtree Providence Partners Holding Company, LLC, Jones has served nearly two decades on the UNCF board. Previously he has served as vice chairman and as finance committee chairman.

As board chairman of an organization recognized widely for its slogan, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” Jones will be working to “grow the UNCF endowment,” according to a media release announcing his selection.

Jones’ predecessor, William F. Stasior Sr., has held the post for 11 years. John D. Rockefeller III, Michael H. Jordan and Jack Stahl are among the noted chairs who have served UNCF.

For 77 years, the celebrated philanthropic organization has worked to resolve the socio-economic barriers that African-American students face in pursuing a higher learning education. Annual fundraisers enable the entity to not only support HBCUs, but also to provide scholarships for individual students.

UNCF acknowledged that the announcement may seem unlikely, since it is generally assumed that an organization that supports higher education for African Americans would be led by African Americans in leadership.

According to the organization’s website, UNCF has 18 board directors, many of them African Americans. The UNCF Leadership Team, led by President and CEO Dr. Michael Lomax, is about 99 percent African American.

“All of us at UNCF are excited to have Milton become our new board chair,” Lomax said. “Milton brings a wealth of business knowledge and a thoughtful, collaborative leadership approach that will help us thrive and maintain a bright and impactful future.”

According to its website, UNCF has helped more than 500,000 students earn college degrees and annually awards more than $100 million in scholarships to students attending more than 1,100 schools across the country, including its network of 37 HBCUs.


Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest News