Morning Briefing – May 19, 2021


Fisk University
Fisk receives historic $5 million gift from Nashville family

Fisk University announced today the single largest gift from a Nashville family since Fisk’s inception in 1866.  The $2.5 million gift from Amy and Frank Garrison will be utilized for both the establishment of an Endowed Chair in recognition of Diane Nash at Fisk’s John Lewis Center for Social Justice as well as an endowed scholarship fund. Dr. Nash, a former Fisk student, was a leader in the student wing of the Civil Rights Movement and played a prominent role in the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins. The Endowed Chair is for the Director of the John Lewis Center and will be named The Diane Nash – Descendants of the Emancipation Chair.

“We could not be more excited about this extraordinarily generous gift and we are grateful that Dr. Nash has allowed the University to name this historic Chair in her honor”, said Fisk President Vann Newkirk. (Fisk University)

Pair of female students smiling at pep rally
UNCF launches nationwide HBCU student re-enrollment campaign

UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the nation’s leading advocate for the importance of minority education and community engagement, today announced a new initiative designed to help students who left college before graduating to re-enroll in a network of 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) across the country. Through a collaboration with student success nonprofit InsideTrack, UNCF will provide personalized success coaching to thousands of former HBCU and PBI students nationwide to help them successfully navigate the complexity of college re-enrollment, resume their studies, and develop a plan to successfully complete their degrees. (United Negro College Fund)

Celebration Bowl
ESPN signs extension for Celebration Bowl and MEAC/SWAC Challenge

After a one-year hiatus, you can count on the Celebration Bowl and MEAC/SWAC Challenge for another six years. ESPN Events announced today that it has signed a new, six-year agreement with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and Southwestern Athletic Conference for its two signature HBCU events. (HBCU Gameday)

Jaisell Morales
Synchrony launches initiative to advance education equity

Synchrony today announced Education as an Equalizer, an initiative to expand access to higher education, skills training in high-growth fields, and financial literacy for underserved communities and its own workforce. During the next five years, the company will invest more than $50 million in the program.

The investment includes more than $20 million in philanthropic grants from the Synchrony Foundation to help increase educational and reskilling opportunities for individuals and students from low-income and underrepresented communities, particularly Black, Hispanic and Native American communities. The company’s eight employee Diversity Networks will serve as strategic advisors to help direct and support the investments. (Synchrony)