UNCF 39th Annual Atlanta Mayor’s Masked Ball Raised $2.1M in Scholarship Support
It was a night to remember the generosity and goodwill support of attendees and sponsors of UNCF’s 39th annual Atlanta Mayor’s Masked Ball.
“This year’s event was historic. It was record-breaking for UNCF Mayor’s Masked Balls generating the largest amount ever raised for this event. We far exceeded expectations by raising $2.1 million in scholarship support thanks to our awesome donors who love HBCUs,” said Justine Boyd, assistant vice president, Atlanta Region, UNCF. “I am enormously grateful for the outpouring of support for this legacy event, which brought together guests from around the nation. The excitement and enthusiastic support were simply amazing.”
The stellar event held at the Atlanta Marquis in downtown Atlanta was an evening of excitement and entertainment for the sold-out audience. As the newly installed mayor of Atlanta, the Honorable Andre Dickens hosted his first UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball. Joining Mayor Dickens as Honorary Co-Chair was Nicole “Nikki” Clifton, president of social impact, at the UPS Foundation where she leads UPS’s global philanthropy, social impact and international community affairs and oversees the company’s efforts to respond to the world’s most pressing social, humanitarian, and environmental needs. UPS was the title sponsor of the ball, joined by Presenting Sponsors, Chick-Fil-A, Norfolk Southern, Nike, Google, and Delta Air Lines.
The Billye Suber Aaron Masked Award Honorees were Charmaine Ward-Millner, Kaiser Permanente vice president of mass communications, community relations and Bentina Chisolm Terry, Georgia Power senior vice president, customer strategy & solutions. Actor Timon Durrett was master of ceremonies.
Grammy-Award winner Babyface was a major highlight of the evening as he took to the stage to entertain a sold-out crowd of 1300. The celebrities present were musicians Jermaine Dupri, Jeezy and wife, Jeannie Mai, actor Danny Glover and film maker and director Roger Bobb. Radio personality Frank Ski hosted the live auction event with hot items up for bidding, including 3 day and four nights at the Couples All-Inclusive Resort in Jamaica: a Coca-Cola Essence Experience, including airfare, hotel, suite access and floor seats, a Culinary Experience with Chef Jernard Wells, and a walk on role in the Bobcat Production of Thriller Cruel Encounters for BET, currently filming in Atlanta.
UNCF HBCU presidents attending were Dr. Helene Gayle, Spelman College; Dr. David A. Thomas, Morehouse College; Dr. George T. French, Jr., Clark Atlanta University and Mr. Matthew Wesley Williams, Interdenominational Theological Center. Other area HBCU presidents in attendance were Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, Morehouse School of Medicine and Dr. Kevin James, Morris Brown College. Also, Dr. Charles Blake, president, Georgia State University attended.
Most compelling moments of the evening were the awarding of scholarships to outstanding students and the testimonies they shared. Caylin Carter, a CAU senior majoring in broadcast communications, received $160,000 in scholarship funds. William Murphy, a junior at Morehouse College received the UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax Scholarship for $200,000 to study philosophy and economics. Murphy was once homeless during high school, but despite his circumstance, he studied and persevered, and entered Morehouse with a 4.0 GPA. UNCF Mayor’s Masked Balls make it possible for students, sometimes first-generation students from low-income communities, to go to and through college and achieve their best futures.
During the past 78 years, UNCF has empowered more than half million students to earn college degrees. As the largest and most effective minority education organization in the United States, UNCF actively supports 37 private historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and advocates for minority higher education. Education has always been at the forefront of UNCF’s fundraising mission. With the success of the Mayor’s Masked Ball, thousands of students have a brighter future because of the support they receive.
In the 2020-21 school year, 928 awards totaling $6,732,895 were given to students in Georgia. In the past few years, more than 800 students attending UNCF member schools were either able to attend college or continue their college education without the interruption of financial challenges. The event helps support area UNCF-member institutions including Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and The Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC).