The donor is urging other alumni to give as well!
Alabama A&M University (AAMU) was founded in 1875, almost 150 years ago, running for many years on an annual state funding allocation of $1,000. This week, the Historically Black College and University received a nearly $2.2 million donation from an anonymous young alumnus. This is the largest individual donation the school has ever seen, The Grio reports.
“This is the most significant and impactful gift in the history of Alabama A&M University. When one of our very own alumni makes such a substantial investment to the institution, it serves as affirmation that the university has made significant progress and that it continues to move in the right direction,” AAMU President Andrew Hugine, Jr said.
The donor did not want to be acknowledged, but gave to the tune of $2,187,518.75. The amount pays homage to “1875,” the year the school was founded by William Hooper Councill, a former enslaved educator.
“This gift is personal to me. This is my university, and it has afforded me opportunities beyond what I could have ever imagined. It has been my life’s mission to make a sizable investment in my alma mater prior to President Hugine’s retirement and under the advancement leadership of Dr. Archie Tucker, who has been a tremendous asset to the university,” the donor wrote in a message to AAMU.
Dr. Tucker, VP of Marketing, Communication & Advancement, spoke about the significance of the contribution.
“This gift is symbolic on so many fronts; it sets the tone for future leadership gifts from the alumni of Alabama A&M University, while also displaying to Corporate America and philanthropists that our graduates have achieved success and are willing to invest in the institution in significant ways.”
The gift will also be a significant investment in AAMU’s athletics programs, Director of Athletics Bryan Hicks noting that it’s the “largest private investment in the history of AAMU Athletics” as well.
“The gift will enable our athletic programs to be more competitive while also enhancing the student-athlete experience. This certainly builds on the recent accomplishments of being Tennis and Football SWAC Champions, along with being the reigning Black College Football National Champs,” Hicks said.
The donor also challenged other AAMU alumni to donate as much as they can, paying homage to the school’s motto in the message.
“As a graduate, I personally know of several other alumni who can make a similar gift, and I challenge them to do the same. In return, I do not want any recognition or anything named after me because service is sovereignty.”
While HBCUs make up only 3% of America’s colleges and universities, they produce 20% of America’s Black graduates, according to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). There has been a push to support HBCUs around the country, recently President Joe Biden proposed bill to make tuition at the schools more affordable.
Hopefully his gift is just the beginning for more financial support for the university by the alumni.
Photo Courtesy of Alabama A&M University