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*On this date in 1987, we celebrate the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF).
They are an American non-profit organization that supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending its 47 member schools, including public historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), medical schools, and law schools. The organization is named after the Supreme Court's first Black Justice, Thurgood Marshall. The organization was established in 1987 under the leadership of Dr. N. Joyce Payne in cooperation with corporate partnerships and the American Association for State Colleges and Universities to Institutionally support public HBCUs.
It underwent a name change in 2006 from the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. TMCF has championed higher education at public historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and has grown from a small organization providing scholarships for public HBCUs, raising over $300 million to date for programmatic support, capacity-building support, and scholarships for its member-schools and the students matriculating on the campuses.
Its mission differs from that of the United Negro College Fund, which supported approximately 65,000 students at 900 colleges and universities with approximately $113 million in grants and scholarships in 2015 alone, while the Thurgood Marshall College fund only supports 47 schools; it is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization, which means it does not pay taxes on its income. TMCF was granted $50 million in 2015 by Apple, $26.5 million in 2017 by the Charles Koch Foundation and Koch Industries, and $6 million by The Boeing Company in 2018.
In 2013, TMCF acquired the Opportunity Funding Corporation (OFC), merging the two organizations with TMCF becoming the parent organization. Both organizations share a similar mission of providing service to the HBCU community, particularly in talent identification. OFC, while continuing its efforts to enhance the entrepreneurship curriculum within public and private HBCUs, will now focus on identifying the most promising future entrepreneurs and introducing them to potential investors and very successful entrepreneurs.