Livingstone College, Donation

Mystery Donor Pledges Sixth $1M Endowment To Livingstone College, 2nd Donation In Less Than A Month

Livingstone College has received its sixth unrestricted donation from a mystery donor, plans to use funds toward revitalization plans currently underway thanks to President Anthony Davis.

Livingstone College just received its sixth generous $1 million contribution, the second in under a month.

As one of the nation’s private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Livingstone is one step closer to achieving its renovation goals thanks to a mystery donor who just processed a sixth $1 million donation to the school.

Dr. Anthony J. Davis, the college’s 13th president, is leading a $30 million campus revitalization project to help Livingstone continue to be home to students interested in business, liberal arts, STEAM, teacher education, and workforce development programs. The new funding will be used toward the renovations, which will be completed in five phases. The first wave of upgrades will include new residence halls and a cafeteria. Phase one is currently on track to be completed by the end of 2024.

“We have to roll up our sleeves and make the business case for supporting a private HBCU, so that’s what we’re doing,” said President Davis. “When you think about it, though, buildings and grounds become recruiting and retention tools.”

Tools that aren’t always readily accessible to students at HBCUs nationwide. 

In a 2022 report spearheaded by the United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute, it was discovered that “nearly two-thirds of the 37 member-institution HBCUs that were surveyed between January and February “indicated they had more than $5 million in deferred maintenance.”

Moreover, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that public HBCUs, on average, have a total deferred maintenance of more than $60 million, so imagine what that looks like for private institutions like Livingstone. 

The recent string of donations totaling $6 million will be used to continue pushing the needle forward for the North Carolina-based HBCU to combat current statistics, shared by the National Center for Education Statistics, that reveal that only two HBCUs in the state saw an increase in enrollment within the past ten years.

Despite the reports, Livingstone vice president of enrollment Anthony Brooks said recent initiatives like the “Ten City Tour” led by President Davis have not only brought new eyes to the school, but also provided prospective students with scholarships. Current students have access to a radio station, planetarium, podcast studio, and a new blue football field, along with renovation plans that are underway.

“We added a 34% increase in new students this past year, and we’re on trend to outdo that particular . . . increase from the previous year,” said Brooks. “We currently have a 23% increase in applications over last year, a 34% increase in admitted students and a 40% increase in paid deposits this year for the incoming class.”

He added, “We work with our doors open so students and families can come to campus with questions, and we’re able to work with those students, regardless of what they’re coming to the campus about,” said Brooks. “We make it a point to be able to help students.”

Located in Salisbury, North Carolina, Livingstone College was founded in 1879 as Zion Wesley Institute by a group of A.M.E. Zion ministers to train fellow clergymen. Since 1887, the school has operated under its current name, yet the institution’s mission remains the same: to provide various programs for students to thrive through a Christian-based environment equipped for holistic learning. 

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