From historic enrollment milestones to reaccreditations that will ensure longevity, historically Black colleges and universities throughout the country have made significant strides this year. One of the latest institutions to have a breakthrough achievement is North Carolina A&T State University which recently logged a record-breaking accomplishment in terms of fundraising.
Within the past year, the Greensboro-based school has raised $88 million which is nearly six times what the institution raises annually. That number is expected to grow as North Carolina A&T’s fiscal year has not come to a close yet. Many of the donations the school has received have come from corporate and individual donors amid the uprising for social justice in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Among the donors were novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott who provided the school with a $45 million endowment; a part of a larger effort where she donated millions of dollars to HBCUs. The institution’s alumni community has also stepped up and donated to ensure their alma mater will be around for generations to come.
The $88 million is part of its eight-year capital campaign which hit the $181.4 million mark. “More than 21,300 donors took a hard look at North Carolina A&T and invested in its promise and potential. Our students, faculty and academic programs earned those investments, and the total of that generosity is a reflection of the quality of this community of scholars,” the institution’s chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. said in a statement. “We’re grateful for what this says about our university now, and excited about what it means for our future.” North Carolina A&T—the largest HBCU in the country—is using education as a vessel to diversify several industries, including STEM. The school has the most Black engineering graduates. The funds will go towards the creation of scholarships, new learning centers, faculty and other initiatives.
Efforts like the one led by the school are transformative as disparities surrounding funding for HBCUs persist. According to Inside Higher Ed, the collective endowment holdings for private HBCUs is $2.1 billion and more than 50 predominantly white institutions individually have more than that in their endowment funds.