May 2, 2021 - Economy

Largest HBCU in the country reports record-shattering donations

Illustration of black college student holding a large dollar bill

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Some of America's historically Black colleges have seen major upticks in donations, following a year that has been hallmarked by a reckoning on race after the murder of George Floyd, NPR reports.

Driving the news: North Carolina A&T State University, the country's largest HBCU, has raised $88 million since last summer — nearly six times what it fundraises annually, per NPR. "There has not been a year like that ever in our history," N.C. A&T associate vice chancellor Todd Simmons told the outlet.

  • "Nor has there been a year like that in the history of nearly any other public HBCU in America."

The president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which supports and represents HBCU's said they've had "a record-breaking year" in terms of donations as they started to pick up last year in the wake of Floyd's killing: "We have never, ever seen anything like this for HBCUs."

  • The colleges have also received federal help from congress' COVID-19 relief laws, in addition to seeing a boom in donations. The American Rescue Plan passed in March gave some $3 billion to HBCUs, tribal colleges and minority-serving schools.

Flashback: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and his wife Patty Quillin announced last year a $120 million donation to the United Negro College Fund, Spelman College and Morehouse College — the largest recorded individual gift to support scholarships.

Why it matters: HBCU's have small endowments compared with other institutions, with none valued at $1 billion in 2019. They also generally saw a drop in enrollment amid the pandemic.

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