As the year draws to a close, support for historically Black schools and institutions continues to grow across the country.
Philander Smith College is the latest historically black college to receive a significant grant.
The Little Rock-based university received a $2.5 million endowment, which is the greatest single contribution in the school’s 134-year history.
An anonymous donor made the gift, which will go toward funding Philander Smith College’s Generational Access and Affordability Program (GAAP).
The effort aims to eliminate socioeconomic barriers that prevent students from pursuing higher education.
The program’s goal is to adopt a holistic approach to meeting students’ specific requirements, so they don’t have to rely on student loans to further their education.
According to research, HBCU students are disproportionately affected by loan debt.
“My heart overflows with gratitude and amazement for the level of transformational generosity by our anonymous donor,” Philander Smith College president Dr. Roderick L. Smothers said in a statement. “This monumental donation will provide tremendous opportunities for our scholars who hail from every walk of life. This gesture not only affects the lives of our students but for communities across the nation. After two years of trudging through a pandemic, social unrest, and political change, we are beyond excited to be able to provide just what our scholars need to push through to the finish line. We are committed to our mission to graduate academically accomplished students grounded as advocates for social justice, determined to change the world for the better.”
This year, Philander Smith College isn’t the only historically black college to receive a significant gift from an anonymous donor.
An unnamed alumnus gave Alabama A&M University a $2.2 million contribution in August. “This gift is personal to me,” read a note that came with the donation. “This is my university, and it has afforded me opportunities beyond what I could have ever imagined. It has been my life’s mission to make a sizeable investment in my alma mater.”