CNN Philanthropic group gifts United Negro College Fund $100 million grant to help boost HBCU endowments

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) has received a landmark $100 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. in support of a capital campaign aimed at bolstering endowments for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). This unprecedented grant, announced by UNCF president Michael Lomax, represents the largest unrestricted private donation in the organization’s history. The funds will be utilized to establish a pooled endowment fund for UNCF’s 37 member institutions, with the objective of increasing each school’s endowment by $10 million. Lomax and Marc Barnes, senior vice president of UNCF’s capital campaign, express optimism about the long-term financial impact on HBCUs, expecting a significant rise in graduation rates, economic mobility, and endowment values. With a median endowment currently at $15.9 million, the UNCF anticipates an increase to $25.9 million upon completion of the capital campaign. This grant underscores Lilly Endowment’s longstanding commitment to supporting HBCUs, with previous contributions dating back nearly 80 years.

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