Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated is staying true to its mission of “Service to all mankind.” On Wednesday, the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American college-educated women, announced an endowment fund of $10M in partnership with its charitable arm, to be distributed to 96 accredited HBCUs over the next four years. The news comes on the heels of the sorority’s $100,000 endowment to Bennett College who is currently at risk of officially losing its accreditation.
The aptly titled AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund will distribute its first round of monetary gifts, totaling $1.6M, to the presidents of 32 HBCUs at the end of next month. Among them are Lincoln University, Norfolk State University, and Southern University at New Orleans.
In a statement, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. International President Dr. Glenda Glover said, “As an HBCU graduate and someone who has dedicated my life’s work to the HBCU community, I personally know that the financial challenges of many institutions have an impact on student enrollment, retention and graduation rates.” The current president of Tennessee State University also added, “Implementing an endowment fund is a critical need and has been a priority for my administration since I took office last year.”
One of Glover’s pushes while in office is promoting HBCUs as a worthwhile choice for African-American students seeking higher education. Recent data from the National Center for Educational Statistics show that a significant number of HBCUs have seen an increase in undergraduate student enrollment. Many have attributed that growth to rising racial tension throughout the U.S.
Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded on the campus of Howard University in 1908. Glover asserts that the role HBCUs have played in the organization’s 111-year history makes it “imperative that [Alpha Kappa Alpha] continue to invest in these treasured institutions.”