Savannah Mayor’s Luncheon Launches Resurgence of UNCF in Savannah and the Coastal Region

Hosted by the Honorable Van Johnson, mayor of Savannah, the enthusiastic crowd of 250 guests attended the UNCF Savannah Mayor’s Luncheon on May 11, 2022, on the campus of Savannah State University. The event reintroduced the community to the 78-year history of UNCF building bridges toward quality education for our young people. The event was presented by UNCF Atlanta regional office.

The luncheon achieved its goal raising over $50,000 to help all students get to and through college.

Mayor Johnson, an HBCU alum of Savannah State University, spoke on the subject, “If Black Lives Matter, HBCUs Must Matter.” His remarks were inspiring, humorous and spoke to the importance of HBCUs and the indelible impact they have had on the lives of many minorities and why it is imperative that we continue to educate our contingency. He also noted that our HBCUs are intentionally inclusive and offer a high-quality education to all students.

Tiffany Wright, a Savannah State University theater and performing arts major, reflected on her experience attending an HBCU and the difference it has made in her life. She also expressed deep gratitude for the mission of HBCUs and UNCF.

UNCF Regional Development Director Justine Boyd acknowledged the sponsors of the luncheon. This included presenting sponsors Wells Fargo and Georgia Power, as well as other major sponsors, The Wesley Family, Gulfstream Aerospace and First African Baptist Church. In her remarks, Ms. Boyd noted, “Many of you may not know that UNCF serves over 60,000 students annually at over 1,000 different colleges. While our primary focus is our 37 private HBCUs, we also have UNCF scholarship recipients at our sister public HBCUs and PWIs.”

During the 2020-21 academic year, UNCF awarded $6,732,895 and 928 scholarships to students residing in the state of Georgia. It should be noted that all students are eligible to apply for UNCF scholarships and may do so by visiting

The room was filled with community leaders, executives, dignitaries and members of the faith and Greek communities with greetings from the esteemed Dr. Kimberly Ballard-Washington, president, Savannah State University.

The UNCF Savannah Leadership Council was integral to the success of the luncheon and included business, faith and civic leaders from the community. UNCF plans to make this an annual event with a greater focus on scholarships for Savannah residents and Savannah State University. For more information, please contact Rosalind McGinnis, UNCF area development director,