Tuskegee University

Tuskegee University Receives Anonymous $20M Donation

Tuskegee University, the HBCU founded by Booker T. Washington, has received another $20 million donation from an anonymous donor, the institution’s second in four years.

Tuskegee University, the HBCU founded by Booker T. Washington in 1881, has received another $20 million donation from an anonymous donor, the institution’s second in four years. According to Tuskegee University, the donation will go towards STEM programming and research, scholarships, faculty positions, campus improvement, and Tuskegee’s United Negro College Fund endowment. 

As Al.com reported, the donation matches the donation given to the HBCU in 2020 by philanthropist Mackenzie Scott, and that donation was put to similar use by the university. Tuskegee’s top majors are all classified as STEM programs: animal poultry and veterinary sciences, nursing, biology, and mechanical engineering. 

Tuskegee University President Charlotte P. Morris said in a press release that the donation is a testament to the trust that Tuskegee University inspires. “This gift will allow us to invest in our students, faculty, programs, and infrastructure, enabling us to enhance our academic reputation, enrich the student experience, and continue our work to reach milestones within our strategic plan,” Dr. Morris said. 

Morris continued, “It will provide additional resources for us to implement vital initiatives, further securing the campus and fostering a more dynamic community. This contribution is a testament to our collective efforts and the enduring trust inspired by the Tuskegee legacy.”

In February, two residential halls at the esteemed university, which are named after Lewis Adams and Olivia Davidson, were in line to receive much needed renovations. As the Alabama News Center reported, the former was a Reconstruction Era leader in Macon County, Alabama, who suggested to Wilber F. Foster, a white Democrat, that developing a Black school in the area could win him Black votes. That school eventually became the Tuskegee State Normal School for Colored Teachers, which became the Tuskegee Institute, which became Tuskegee University.

Olivia Davidson is the second wife of Booker T. Washington and worked closely with Washington during the construction of Tuskegee after being recruited by Washington to help build the school. Davidson is credited with shaping much of the university’s early curriculum. In a similar fashion to Washington, she advocated for access to education for Black girls, and argued that they could exercise self-improvement by utilizing reading clubs, temperance, and community engagement. In a news release, the university affirmed that the buildings, which they said were critical to the university’s heritage, would receive the care they deserved. 

“These historical buildings, integral to the university’s heritage, are poised to enter a new era. Olivia Davidson Hall has been a beacon of female empowerment and education since its establishment,” the news release said. “Lewis Adams Hall, reflecting the university’s growth, has long stood as a symbol of academic and residential life on campus. The renovation showcases the university’s proactive approach to student welfare and academic excellence.”

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