UNCF-the United Negro College Fund- was awarded a $1,432,950 grant from The Kresge Foundation in support of Fisk University, a UNCF member institution. The Kresge grant will support a multi-year effort to strengthen this highly successful liberal arts Nashville, Tennessee University. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Fisk University fifth in the nation in its inaugural 2008 ranking of ninety HBCUs. A recent National Science Foundation study revealed that Fisk alumni earned more doctoral degrees in the natural sciences than did African American graduates from any other college or university in the nation.
“UNCF is grateful to The Kresge Foundation for coming to the aid of one of the country’s most distinguished historically black universities,” said UNCF president and CEO Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D. “This grant will not only help Fisk chart its course for the future but will help ensure that this historic institution, which has the second highest six-year graduation rate among HBCUs, is able to serve the thousands of students who will benefit from the high-quality education it offers.”
“This support is an excellent vehicle to support our outstanding fundraising from last year,” said Fisk President Hazel R. O’Leary. “These are challenging times for higher education and these funds support Fisk’s effort to fortify our core strengths and better serve our students.”
The Kresge Foundation grant will support Fisk’s participation in the UNCF Institute for Capacity Building (ICB), which supports the efforts of UNCF member institutions to become stronger and more self-sustaining. Thanks to the grant, Fisk will be able to participate in the HBCU Institutional Advancement Program, a key component of ICB aimed at strengthening advancement programs and systems with an emphasis on increasing alumni and trustee giving and participation and enhancing advancement capacity at selected UNCF member institutions. In addition, the grant will support a comprehensive review of Fisk’s operation by Boston Consulting Group.
The UNCF Institute for Capacity Building (ICB) was established in May 2006 to support strengthening the capacity of the 39 UNCF member private historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the areas of fundraising, enrollment and retention, academic programming and faculty development, financial management, facilities, executive leadership and governance. Thirty-five UNCF member institutions are currently engaged in ICB programs, representing 90 percent of this network of private institutions. ICB has provided more than six million dollars to date to UNCF member institutions.
“We are pleased to support your effort to help Fisk address the University’s longstanding operational issues and develop a comprehensive, long-term, sustainable operating plan in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group and UNCF’s own Institutional Advancement Program,” said Rip Rapson, president of The Kresge Foundation. Given Fisk’s remarkable historical leadership, prominence within the HBCU community, and its success in producing African American leaders and professionals, Fisk very much fits the values of The Kresge Foundation and warrants significant support for the turnaround strategy.