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Supporting the Needs of All Black Students

Dear Editor,
I was disappointed that the article reported by Lydia Lum “Will Historic Inequities Ever Be Remedied?” (see Black Issues, March 29) misrepresented the goals and accomplishments of UNCF by stating, “…despite lingering misperceptions that giving to the United Negro College Fund is giving to all Black colleges, instead of just the private ones.”
I want to assure the reporter and your readers that there is no “misperception” on the part of those who give to and are familiar with the United Negro College Fund. We are the oldest and most successful African American higher education assistance organization in the country, and while our primary mission has been to provide assistance to our member institutions, we have and will continue to support all Black colleges and universities. Our focus is as it should be — on the substantial needs of those who attend these institutions, the students themselves.
It is true that The College Fund was founded in 1944 to primarily assist Black private institutions. However, UNCF also understands that it is important to support the needs of all Black students, whether they are enrolled in public or private institutions and whether they happen to attend minority or majority schools. That is why we provided more than $8,407,000.00 in scholarships, grants and direct aid last year to institutions that are not members of UNCF.

— William H. Gray III
President and Chief Executive Officer
United Negro College Fund

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