Announces Major Grant to UNC Pembroke
U.S. Representative Mike McIntyre, BellSouth representative John
McKinney and Chancellor Allen Meadors
a $105,000 grant for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. It
is the largest private foundation gift in university history, officials
The grant, one of
five BellSouth grants in the Southeast, will be delivered over a three-year
period and is intended to boost minority graduation rates. The grant
is a gift of BellSouth Foundation.
UNCP and BellSouth
officials made the joint announcement May 6 at a reception on campus
at the Chancellor's residence.
excited to be selected by BellSouth to receive this grant," Chancellor
Allen C. Meadors said. "Gifts like this one do make the difference
in providing quality programs for our students."
"We will use
the funds to support our retention programs that assist our young people
in their transition to college," Chancellor Meadors said. "One
of our unique missions at the university is educating first generation
college students, so this grant is especially welcome as we continue
that role successfully into the 21st century."
showed a need for special efforts to retain minority students in higher
to the U.S. Department of Education, minority college students are statistically
less likely than non-minority students to complete their studies and
earn a bachelor's degree in four to six years," said Krista Tillman,
BellSouth's president of North Carolina operations. "With this
new grant program, BellSouth is supporting the efforts of colleges and
universities in guiding minority students toward ultimately achieving
The grants go to
institutions of higher education that already have programs in place
to retain minority students, BellSouth officials said. Other recipients
are: the University of Alabama at Huntsville; Macon State College in
Macon, Ga.; Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss.; and Trident
Technical College in Charleston, S.C.
UNCP will use the
grant to improve training and services offered in academic advising
and its Freshman Seminar program. The Freshman Seminar is a mandatory
transition course for freshman, covering study skills, research, campus
resources and support services available to students, said Johathan
Maisonpierre, director of the Office of Retention and Advisement.
"We will pay
particular attention to culture and student learning styles in the freshman
year," Mr. Maisonpierre said. "Freshman retention at UNCP
is on the rise, but there is always room for improvement, especially
at a school with so many first generation students."
The grants are part
of the "Closing the Divide for College-Going Minorities" initiative.
It is a five-year program aimed at closing education gaps in the Southeast,
where BellSouth operates.
An additional benefit
of the program will be several meeting per year of the partners to brainstorm
and share success stories. BellSouth is committed to having a diverse
workforce, and the grant program makes good business sense, said Ron
Frieson, chief diversity officer for the company.
is good business in today's global marketplace," Mr. Frieson said.
"At BellSouth, we are dedicated to sustaining a work environment
where talent grows and inclusion is fostered. This commitment demonstrates
an investment we have made to ensure we continue to have opportunities
to recruit and employ people with diverse backgrounds."
Atlanta, BellSouth is a Fortune 100 company that provides communications
services to more than 45 million customers. BellSouth Foundation is
an endowed trust of the company that is devoted exclusively to education
reform in the Southeast. It has funded over 535 grants valued at $46
to University Newswire