Kicks Off Campaign for UMES
Foundation to help raise money to keep students in school
PRINCESS ANNE, MD - The Tom Joyner Foundation, a major driving force in raising money for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) since 1998, has kicked off an aggressive fundraising campaign for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES).
During the Wednesday mid-morning kickoff event on the UMES campus, individual gifts were made totaling over $10,000 from vice presidents, deans, faculty, staff, students and alumni within the crowd that gathered for the announcement. The total was added to the $42,500 amount raised prior to the kickoff.
"We are grateful that the Tom Joyner Foundation chose the University of Maryland Eastern Shore as the School of the Month for August 2009," said Dr. Thelma B. Thompson, UMES president. "There has never been a greater need or a better time to raise scholarship dollars than now."
According to the foundation, formed by the nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner, UMES was chosen as part of its on-going effort to assist HBCUs in broadening and strengthening their efforts to raise money to help keep students attending these institutions.
As a Tom Joyner Foundation School of the Month, UMES will receive funds raised from listeners, alumni and other interested parties during the month of August. The Tom Joyner Morning Show, which airs in 115 markets around the country and reaches nearly eight million listeners every week, will promote the university and award scholarships to deserving students.
UMES, twice named in the top tier of America s Best Black Colleges by U.S. News and World Report, emphasizes select baccalaureate programs in the liberal arts and sciences and career fields with particular relevance to the Eastern Shore and its land-grant mandate, offering programs at the bachelor s, master s and doctoral levels. Established as Princess Anne Academy in 1886 with one professor and 9 students, the school is home to some 4,000 students today.
"The foundation is really happy to work with UMES," said Tom Joyner, a graduate of Tuskegee Institute and chair of the foundation. "The university has a wonderful history, and this foundation is all about making sure students are able to stay in school."
"The timing of the Tom Joyner Foundation could not be better," said Dr. Veronique Diriker, UMES director of development. "The global recession has shrunk family and individual incomes, making it especially difficult for UMES students to pay their tuition bills, despite increases in financial aid by the state of Maryland.
"Coupled with that has been a stock market decline that has resulted in reduced University income from private endowments, most of which were earmarked for student scholarships," added Diriker. "Thanks to the Tom Joyner Foundation and our designation as the August school-of-the-month, we should be able to provide the finances necessary to keep many of our students in school this fall."
The Tom Joyner Foundation, www.blackamericaweb.com/foundation, has raised more than $25 million over the past seven years to help thousands of students at some 80 historically black colleges. Over the past month, it has presented more than $1 million to several colleges, including Harris Stowe College in St. Louis, Mo.; LeMoyne Owen College in Memphis, Tenn.; and Lane College in Jackson, Tenn.
For more information about the Tom Joyner School of the Month campaign at UMES, call Diriker at 410-651-8142.
Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Neil Foote, spokesperson, Tom Joyner Foundation, email@example.com.
Kickoff Photo by Matthew Whittiker, UMES