UNCF and Lowe's Award $500,000 in Emergency Financial Aid to Support Students at 37 Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Media Contact:
Ashlei Stevens
UNCF Communications

WASHINGTON—UNCF disbursed $500,000 in funding from Lowe’s last semester to its 37 member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to award emergency student aid to financially needy graduating seniors. UNCF’s Campaign for Emergency Student Aid (CESA) is a lifeline for UNCF-supported HBCU students with unanticipated needs or special circumstances such as the loss of a parent’s job. More than 200 seniors received aid, allowing them to stay in school and on track to graduation.

Lowe’s received a UNCF Masked Award March 18 at the 2016 UNCF Charlotte Mayor’s Masked Ball for its efforts to support the work of UNCF and advance higher education.

Hosted by Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, the ball brought together nearly 400 business, civic and education leaders to raise awareness and support for UNCF. AT&T North Carolina President Vanessa Harrison and lawyer T.J. Solomon, a partner at Gray, Layton, Kersh, Solomon, Furr & Smith, P.A., also received the UNCF Masked Award.

“UNCF is grateful for Lowe’s continued investments in UNCF’s Campaign for Emergency Student Aid,” said Dr. Michael Lomax, UNCF president and CEO. “The hundreds of students who have been able to stay in college and stay on track for graduation are the return on Lowe’s investment. They, in turn, become America’s dividends.”

For more than six years, Lowe’s has partnered with UNCF’s CESA to provide $3.75 million in just-in-time aid. Thanks to Lowe’s long-term commitment to increasing postsecondary success for students at UNCF-member schools, more than 1,500 students have been able to graduate on time.

“Lowe’s is honored to receive the UNCF Masked Ball Award and more importantly, we are honored to be able to partner with students in helping them realize their dreams of attaining a college degree,” said James Frison, community relations director at Lowe’s. “At Lowe’s we believe education is the foundation to building bright futures, inspiring leaders and stronger communities. We hope to continue making a positive and lasting difference across the nation through UNCF scholarships.”

UNCF, the nation’s largest and most effective minority education assistance organization, launched CESA in 2009 to help recession-impacted students at risk of having to interrupt their studies and delay their degrees due to unpaid tuition balances, textbooks and room and board fees. In supporting UNCF’s CESA, Lowe’s stepped up again this academic year to help students such as Chelsea Moore walk across the finish line.

“Since being awarded a scholarship, I am able to pay my spring semester off completely,” she said. “This scholarship is going to help me live out my dream of a career in communications and help me get one step closer to graduating from Bennett College.”

Amanda Roger is another recent award recipient. The first in her family to attend college, she is a graduating senior majoring in psychology at UNCF-member institution Tuskegee University.

“I am so grateful to Lowe’s for its support to complete my degree,” Roger said. “I plan to attend graduate school to earn a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling and become a licensed professional counselor and later a clinical psychologist for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.”



About UNCF
UNCF (the 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 21 percent 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 motto, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.