by Alexa Imani Spencer
Alabama A&M University (Alabama A&M University)
A young, anonymous alum of Alabama A&M University donated over $2 million to their alma mater, granting the school its largest individual donation ever received.
To be exact, the former student donated $2,187,518.75—twice reflecting the university’s founding in 1875.
The HBCU’s president Andrew Hugine Jr. spoke about the recent historic donation, Essence reported. He said it’s “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.”
Civil rights activist Joseph Lowery, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, and former American Idol winner Ruben Studdard are just a few notable alumni who attended AAMU. The donor, who chose to remain anonymous, said more alumni could offer similar gifts.
“This gift is personal to me,” the donor said in a statement. “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 sizeable investment in my alma mater…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).
Several efforts have been made among institutions and the public alike to preserve historically Black colleges and universities, including President Joe Biden’s recently proposed bill to make tuition at the schools more affordable.
Similarly, to aid students in financing their tuition, Getty Images partnered with UNCF to create an HBCU scholarship.
This article first appeared in Black Enterprise Magazine