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On this date in 1944, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) was incorporated with 27 member colleges. UNCF is the nation's oldest and most successful minority higher education assistance organization.
It was actually started a year earlier when Dr. Frederick D. Patterson, president of Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University), wrote an open letter in The Pittsburgh Courier. In his writing he asked the presidents of other private Black colleges to "pool their small monies and make a united appeal to the national conscience." The UNCF’s mission is to enhance the quality of education by raising operating funds for their member colleges and universities, providing financial support to deserving students, and increasing access to technology for students and faculty at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
UNCF has raised $5 billion as of 2018. Now with 39 colleges, UNCF maintains a low cost ratio of only 15.06 percent of total revenues and 6.26 percent for managerial costs and 8.8 percent for fund raising. Both The Non-Profit Times and The Chronicle of Philanthropy have ranked UNCF among the top 10 charitable educational organizations in the country.
The current Chair of UNCF's Board of Directors is Michael H. Jordan. He is also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the EDS Corporation. The President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Negro College Fund is Michael Lomax.
The Encyclopedia of African American Heritage
by Susan Altman
Copyright 1997, Facts on File, Inc. New York