FAIRFAX, VA - UNCF—the United Negro College Fund—and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) are partnering to make sure that seniors at UNCF member colleges graduate on time. All nine members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council—Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Phi Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Iota Phi Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, Sigma Gamma Rho and Zeta Phi Beta—are rallying around the late-January broadcast of UNCF An Evening of Stars® Tribute to Chaka Khan and the UNCF Campaign for Emergency Student Aid (CESA) to raise $250,000 to support recession-impacted graduating seniors who need to pay off balances for tuition, books and room and board before they can receive their diplomas.
The Greek organizations are joining forces to encourage their undergraduate and alumni members and friends to participate through the Text To Donate component of the campaign featured in this year's UNCF An Evening of Stars® show. From January 1 through February 28th, supporters of each Greek organization will be able to text the letters for their sorority or fraternity to make a $10 donation to UNCF.
"We are excited about this new partnership with the National Pan-Hellenic Council and their commitment to education," said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., UNCF president and CEO. "Many students at UNCF schools are still being impacted by the recession and they are finding themselves in financially vulnerable positions. All nine Greek organization members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council understand the importance of an education and the doors of opportunity it can open. It's inspiring for us to work together with our community to ensure that all children get the college degrees they need and our nation needs them to have."
The National Pan-Hellenic Council is also establishing a CESA scholarship specifically for members of its nine Greek organizations; the scholarship will be administered by UNCF.
As the recession lingers, many students at UNCF schools are at risk of having to drop out of college. Unemployment and pay cuts still reduce families' financial support for their children's education. The credit crunch still keeps private student loans off the market. And students still come up short of the funds they need to cover tuition and room and board balances.
"The National Pan-Hellenic Council's relationship with UNCF is a perfect match. Our goals are aligned," said Council of Presidents Chairman Dwayne M. Murray, Esq. "Each of our organizations are seeking ways to fund the education opportunities for young people in all walks of life. I am calling upon all Councils of the NPHC to help UNCF in its fundraising efforts and to watch UNCF An Evening of Stars Tribute to Chaka Khan on January 29th and 30th 2011."
With more than 40 years in music behind her, Grammy-winning R&B/soul singer Chaka Khan will be surrounded on the UNCF An Evening of Stars® stage by the greatest talent in entertainment and education, as she is presented with the UNCF Award of Excellence. The award cites her long entertainment career and support for UNCF and minority education.
This year's program will feature award-winning singers and performers Stevie Wonder, Fantasia, Angie Stone, Melanie Fiona, Ledisi, El DeBarge, Estelle, Faith Evans, Ginuwine, Bettye LaVette and Herbie Hancock. The parade of celebrities joining Dr. Lomax in celebrating Khan also includes Academy Award winner Mo'Nique, Akon, LeVar Burton, Kim Coles, Taraji P. Henson, Quincy Jones, Tom Joyner, CNN's Soledad O'Brien, Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, Amber Riley, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Tracie Thoms, Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson, Lauren Velez, and a special taped appearance by Mary J. Blige. The celebrities will not only entertain but will make special appeals for all Americans to text to donate to help seniors graduate from college.
About UNCF An Evening of Stars
UNCF An Evening of Stars®, formerly the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars®, first aired in 1979, and since that time has become one of the longest running and most successful televised events in U.S. history. Over its 32-year history, UNCF An Evening of Stars® has raised more than $200 million that has helped hundreds of thousands of students attend college and graduate. In recent years, UNCF An Evening Of Stars® has featured a Who's Who of remarkable talent, including Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Chaka Khan, Ne-Yo, Nancy Wilson, Beyonce, Anita Baker, Jill Scott, Whoopi Goldberg, Fantasia, Joss Stone, Jennifer Hudson, Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Hall and Oates, Ziggy Marley, Maroon 5, and scores of others. UNCF An Evening of Stars® received NAACP Image Awards for its 2006 tribute to Stevie Wonder and its 2008 tribute to Smokey Robinson.
UNCF—the United Negro College Fund—is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. UNCF supports education through scholarships and other programs, by supporting its 39 member colleges and universities, and by advocating for the importance of minority education. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 21 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. The UNCF logo features the torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."