Marcia Cox, SAU, HBCU Alum, Coffee, Saint Augustine University

HBCU Alum Marcia Cox Donates Coffee Sales To Help Saint Augustine University Pay Debts

The 23-year-old Kaldi's Coffee House and Roastery owner is donating 30 percent of coffee sales to SAU and hopes other HBCU grads will also contribute.

Third-generation HBCU alumna Marcia Cox is leveraging her coffee venture to raise funds for Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) as the institution grapples with financial woes.

Upon learning of SAU’s financial and accreditation challenges, the 23-year-old owner of Charlotte-based Kaldi’s Coffee House and Roastery initiated a campaign to donate 30 percent of coffee sales from her crafted 1867 blend to the Falcon Pride Initiative.

“It could really be any one of our HBCUs,” Cox told ABC 11 with the hope that other HBCU graduates would also be inspired to contribute. “A lot of them sometimes are like one mistake away from maybe just going through anything, so…we should be helping each other out as much as we can because of the important legacy and history of HBCUs.”

On Feb. 13, the IRS slapped SAU with a $7.9 million lien for unpaid taxes, according to WRAL News. Additionally, the university faces accusations of failing to pay various vendors such as FieldTurf USA, which filed a $598,000 lien in December 2023 for alleged nonpayment for an artificial turf field.

ABC 11 reported that the institution was also hit on the inside, after some professors decided to cancel classes last month due to payroll issues.

Interim president Marcus H. Burgess acknowledged the university’s financial challenges and stated, “Our current financial situation, or lack thereof, has significantly hindered the operations across our campus … we are pursuing several opportunities around our greatest asset, our land.” However, Burgess assured that “classes are proceeding as scheduled” and thanked faculty, staff, supporters, stakeholders, and the broader community for their “unwavering support.

In 2023, former head football coach Howard Feggins sued the university just months after being fired, according to BLACK ENTERPRISE. Feggins’ lawsuit against SAU claimed a breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraudulent/negligent misrepresentation, and tortious interference with contractual relations.

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