Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Pledges $1.6 Million to HBCUs

Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first Greek-lettered sorority established by African American college women—and sorority of presidential candidate Kamala Harris, has pledged $1.6 million to HBCUs.

The sorority has established the AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund in partnership with the Educational Advancement Foundation (EAF). Over the next decade, the fund will distribute $10M to 96 schools.

From a press release from the sorority:

On February 28, 2019, presidents from 32 of the participating HBCUs will receive the first installment of the endowment gift in the amount of $50,000 at the Alpha Kappa Alpha International Headquarters in Chicago, Illinois

“As an HBCU graduate and someone who has dedicated my life’s work to the HBCU community, I personally know that the financial challenges of many institutions have an impact on student enrollment, retention, and graduation rates,” said Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. International President Dr. Glenda Glover via the press release. “Implementing an endowment fund is a critical need and has been a priority for my administration since I took office last year. Alpha Kappa Alpha’s 111-year history is deeply interwoven into the history of HBCUs and therefore it is imperative that we continue to invest in these treasured institutions.”

The 32 participating schools include:

Albany State University

Alcorn State University

American Baptist College

Bennett College for Women

Chicago State University

Coppin State University

Fayetteville State University

Florida Memorial University

Fort Valley State University

Grambling State University

Harris-Stowe State University

Le Moyne-Owen College

Lincoln University

Livingstone College

Miles College

Mississippi Valley State University

Norfolk State University

North Carolina Central University

Philander Smith College

Savannah State University

Shaw University

South Carolina State University

Southern University at New Orleans

St. Augustine’s University

Stillman College

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Voorhees College

West Virginia State University

Wilberforce University

Wiley College

Paul Quinn College

Edward Waters College

HBCUs have been struggling for funding. In December 2018, Bennett College for Women lost its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) due to its inability to remain financially stable. Pizza corporation Papa John’s recently donated $500,000 to the school. At least six HBCUs have closed since 1988 due to financial reasons.