Oakwood University hosted the annual North Alabama United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Kick-off and Appreciation Reception on Tuesday, September 7, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the BB&T bank, located at 305 Church Street, in Huntsville. BB&T served as the UNCF Kick-off’s presenting sponsor. The evening was filled with food, prizes, energizing remarks, and the tranquil Chinese violin tunes of musician Minhao Lu, who could have taken the edge off any busy sponsor’s work day.
As North Alabama’s only UNCF institution, Oakwood partners with the local UNCF Planning Committee each year to organize this occasion, which pre-empts the annual golf tournament and spring gala. It is an opportunity to thank sponsors and friends, share the impact the UNCF has had on students, graduates, and the community, and to meet and greet potential UNCF supporters from our community.
The North Alabama UNCF campaign motto is “Building Bridges to Opportunity,” and there are several events planned around the key focus of building community and business relationships, inspiring diversity, encouraging growth and economic development, and a fostering a spirit of philanthropy.
The UNCF Golf Classic, sponsored by Verizon Wireless, is an early-bird special to sponsors who pledge or donate before the October 4 event at The Ledges of Huntsville. For major sponsors of $5,000 and more, there will also be a chance to win a trip-for-two to China during a drawing at the golf tournament.
Then on November 14, the Second Annual UNCF First Ladies Tea will be held at The Ledges of Huntsville, beginning at 3:00 p.m. Last year’s tea brought pastors’ wives together from across Madison County and the general North Alabama region in an interdenominational fellowshipping that could only be topped by this year’s event. It’s a chance for the first ladies to relax and share their stories of ministry and faith-building over a cup of tea and crumpets and a host of other special treats to delight the palate.
And as usual, the culminating event of the campaign, the Annual UNCF Gala, is set for April 21, 2011. The event raises funds for scholarship and internship programs for African-American students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to seek a higher education. At a time when a college degree is what a high school diploma was to previous generations, a college education has fast become a minimum entry-level requirement for almost every well-paying career.
The UNCF mission is “to enhance the quality of education by providing financial assistance to deserving students, raising operating funds for member colleges and universities, and increasing access to technology for students and faculty at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUS).” Since its inception in 1944, UNCF has grown to become the nation's oldest and most successful minority higher education assistance organization, although UNCF provides scholarships to any deserving student who attends an HBCU, regardless of ethnicity.
As one of 39 UNCF member institutions, Oakwood University helps promising students from low- and moderate-income families with funds for college tuition, books, and room and board. Collectively, these private member institutions enable more than 65,000 students each year to attend college and get the education they want and deserve.
For more information, please contact the Office of Advancement and Development by calling 256. 726-7584, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org., or visiting www.oakwood.edu/uncf/ online.
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