Can HBCUs Out-Fundraise , Out-Recruit the Donald Trump Effect?

Private and philanthropic giving will be essential to the HBCU cause — in preparation for the hard times ahead.

Private and philanthropic giving will be essential to the HBCU cause — in preparation for the hard times ahead.

Morgan State University officials yesterday announced the launch of a $250 million capital campaign, designed to support the university’s strategic vision of student access, community revitalization and campus expansion.

Morgan State Launches $250-Million Capital Campaign – Morgan State University Newsroom
Morgan State University (MSU) is poised to begin a yearlong celebration of its sesquicentennial, and today, Morgan…

Officials called it the biggest fundraising goal ever set by a public HBCU.

“First and foremost, we want to ensure the continued success of our students while keeping Morgan affordable and accessible. We also intend to advance our teaching and research mission, continue enhancements to our physical campus to promote learning and innovation, and further engage with the communities we serve. That’s just another way of saying that we want to make certain that Morgan’s best days are ahead of us.”

In the days following the national day of mourning following Donald Trump’s election as president, this kind of news is the best for which HBCU advocates and black folks nationwide could hope. First, with the rule of fundraising suggests that organization launches a campaign without being at least 50 percent towards their public goal, which means that Maryland’s flagship black college has at least $125 million in the bank by way of alumni giving, philanthropic gifts and research contracts.

But more than that, Morgan’s announcement continues a streak of HBCUs announcing significant gains in fundraising. Claflin University earlier this month announced the completion of its $90 million goal, which it surpassed by more than $10 million.

How Claflin Raised $105 Million
Record-breaking capital campaign was a total campus

Shaw University yesterday announced that it has eclipsed the $1 million in giving collected over the last two years, joining schools like Delaware State University, Spelman College and North Carolina Central University as a handful of HBCUs who are attracting record-breaking support from students, graduates and corporate supporters.

Strategic Program Boosts Young Alumni Gifts for NCCU
North Carolina Central

Why is this important? Because we don’t know what the Department of Education will look like by this time next year. Some sources predict that Trump could reverse student loan administration back to private banks, which could impact interest rates, eligibility for families, and enrollment.

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More black students could be heading to HBCUs over the next 12 months, because if students who didn’t know about, looked down upon, or who second guessed the value of the HBCU environment thought the microaggressions of 2015 were bad, something far worse and more dangerous has arrived.

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HBCUs are going to have to be in position to help those students afford college. They’re going to have to house them, feed them, and have enough instructors to teach them. They are going to need the technology to secure their student data, and to modernize the campus experience to their millennial expectations. All of that takes money, and no school can raise more money than it can attract through recruitment.

Black colleges will face significant challenges for sure, but perhaps the opportunity from a nation reveling in racism, combined with the rising conscience of its minority citizens, could dull the blunt force of the pendulum swinging back into the browning of America.

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And even it will be the last gasp of white folks angered over the world changing around them and the rusting over of white privilege, the next four years are going to hurt. But its a good thing that, contrary to popular belief and narrative, some black colleges will be ready for what Van Jones called the ‘white lash.’