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Tuskegee University Launching Ambitious Capital Campaign

TUSKEGEE, AL. — Tuskegee University announced that it is launching the largest capital campaigns in its 130-year history.

Major General Charles E. Williams, chairman of Tuskegee University’s Board of Trustees, has appointed attorney Felker Ward, a Tuskegee alumnus, to serve as head of the board’s Development Committee, which will have oversight of the comprehensive capital campaign.

“Tuskegee University’s illustrious history and distinguished contemporary accomplishments deserve a continued and accelerated upward trajectory toward a globally preeminent academic future,” Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon said in a statement. “The landscape of higher education is changing dramatically and Tuskegee University is faced with intensified competition for the best students, faculty and academic facilities. In order to continue and further our mission, we must have adequate resources.”

The campaign, titled “Programmed for Excellence,” will seek to raise a quarter of a billion dollars over the next five years. Funding from the comprehensive campaign will go toward student scholarships, faculty development, facilities and infrastructure, innovative partnerships, campus life, athletic programs, endowed professorships and more.

Overall, the campaign will facilitate Tuskegee University’s enhancement of its graduate and undergraduate academic curricula, increase enrollment and retention, expand student support, grow the endowment, incorporate cutting-edge computational and analytical instrumentation, upgrade academic and physical facilities, establish a large and small animal veterinary hospital, modernize infrastructure, facilitate health care access, stimulate regional sustainable development, attain preeminence as a research university, and expand its global footprint.

“Building upon the legacy of Tuskegee University, it is ineluctable that we further expand scholarly opportunities for our students to effectively compete within the global economy and to emerge as leaders within their respective disciplines. It is incumbent upon our administration to forge a formidable alliance among our trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni, philanthropic friends, as well as partners within government, corporations, foundations and multi-lateral agencies, to maintain a positive and sustainable impact within academe, the community, the region, the nation, and the world,” Rochon said.

Virgil E. Ecton was recently appointed vice president for federal affairs and director of the capital campaign. He will perform his duties in the university’s Washington, D.C., office. Ecton is the former vice president for university advancement at Howard University. Prior to his appointment at Howard, Ecton worked for the United Negro College Fund for three decades. As the senior executive vice president of development for the UNCF, he raised more than $1.6 billion during his tenure.

“I am confident that this administration, alumni, donors and other supporters will make this a successful campaign,” Rochon said. “There is limitless enthusiasm and substantive expertise within our coalition that will ensure the legacy of Tuskegee as a major asset to the state of Alabama, as well as to national and global research initiatives, pedagogical innovation and sustainable development priorities.”

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