Top Detroit Businessman and Philanthropist Donates $100K Gift to Support HBCUs

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Monique LeNoir UNCF Communications 202.810.0231

Investing in education of Black youth among best ways to invest in America

A $100,000 gift will be presented on Feb. 17 to UNCF in support of three UNCF-member historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) by William F. Pickard, Ph.D., founder and executive chairman of Global Automotive Alliance (GAA) Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management. The presentation will take place on the campus of UNCF-member Clark Atlanta University.

Pickard’s gift includes donations to UNCF, Clark Atlanta University, Saint Augustine’s University and Philander Smith University.

The donation is being made by Pickard in honor of UNCF Board Chairman Milton H. Jones, Jr., for his leadership to help Black students go to and through college. Pickard said he hopes his donation will encourage other donors, charitable foundations and businesses to join Chairman Jones, and UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax to support UNCF and HBCUs to help Black students receive the financial resources they need to achieve their college dreams and better futures.

“I am pleased to present this gift in honor of my friend UNCF Board Chairman Milton Jones for his outstanding leadership and dedication to helping Black students earn college degrees and make better lives for us all,” said Pickard. “I salute Dr. Lomax for being a strong advocate for our nation’s historically Black colleges and universities and encourage others to join him in supporting the work of the UNCF and continue believing the UNCF motto, ‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste.’”

“I am deeply grateful to my friend Bill Pickard, business and civic leader and philanthropist, for his generous gift to UNCF and three of our UNCF-member colleges and universities. His continuous generosity clearly demonstrates his belief that investing in the education of Black youth is one of the best ways to invest in America’s future,” said Jones.

Clark Atlanta University will use the gift for the development of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship in the College of Business. St. Augustine’s University will increase the William F. Pickard Endowed Scholarship in the School of Business for support of undergraduate students from the Bahamas. Philander Smith University is using the gift to support programs for Bahamian students to include recruitment.

Resulting from his donation, Pickard becomes a member of UNCF’s President’s Society in individual donor gifts.



About Clark Atlanta University

Clark Atlanta University is a private, coeducational, four-year university located in the historic heart of Atlanta, GA, and is the only university in the historic Atlanta University Center, a consortium of 8,000 primarily African American scholars. It is designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a “Doctoral University – High Research Activity. The University’s students are engaged in 38 areas of study in four schools: Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education and the Whitney M. Young, Jr., School of Social Work. The University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to offer the bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees. Clark Atlanta University has produced more than 29,000 alumni in myriad fields of professional, civic and social endeavor.

About Philander Smith University

Philander Smith University is a small, privately supported, historically black, four-year liberal arts institution related to the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. The college offers four degrees—bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, bachelor of business administration and bachelor of social work. The college’s mission is to graduate academically accomplished students, grounded as advocates for social justice, determined to change the world for the better. Philander Smith University, the only UNCF-member institution in Arkansas, strives to provide a quality education for all regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin or ethnic background. Philander Smith University, the only UNCF-member institution in Arkansas, strives to provide a quality education for all regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin or ethnic background.

About Saint Augustine’s University

Affiliated with the Episcopal Church, Saint Augustine’s University was started by 12 Episcopal priests to teach freedmen. Alumnus Henry Beard Delany, the first African American elected Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, led as a teacher of carpentry and masonry at Saint Augustine’s University. Students who were enrolled in the carpentry and masonry classes were required to construct the university’s chapel, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Delany and his wife, Nanny, were the parents of 10 children, all of whom were born at St. Agnes Hospital. Two of their children, Sadie and Bessie, are alumnae of Saint Augustine’s University. The Delany sisters’ best-selling memoir, “Having Our Say,” was made into a hit Broadway play.


About UNCF

UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20% of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.