Students in Historically Black Colleges Across the South Benefit from Generosity of Award-Winning Foundation

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Twenty historically black colleges and universities across the Southeast receive annual grants from the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, which received the Council of Independent Colleges 2008 Award for Philanthropy on Sunday.

Twenty historically black colleges and universities receive annual grants from the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, which received the Council of Independent Colleges 2008 Award for Philanthropy on Sunday. The primary purpose of the foundation is to provide educational opportunities to needy women in nine Southeastern states.

Based in Atlanta, GA, the foundation annually funds scholarships for over 8,000 female students at 201 schools in the Southeast. While most of the Lettie Pate Whitehead scholarship funds go toward undergraduate higher education, the foundation maintains a special interest in health education. Approximately 25 percent of its scholarship grants target the medical, nursing and allied health fields. The foundation also supports 14 nursing homes and hospice care programs.

"I would not be able to attend school at all if it weren't for this scholarship," said Crystal Daniels, a recent recipient. "I'm the first person in my family to attend college. Now I'll be able to achieve my life goals and develop a successful career. The scholarship allows me to create my own future."

"Through more than 200,000 scholarships awarded, the Whitehead family has left a lasting legacy across the region," said Russ Hardin, president of the foundation. "The foundation is pleased to partner with colleges and universities to help deserving young women achieve their educational goals."

Lettie Pate Whitehead was married to Joseph B. Whitehead, one of the original bottlers of Coca-Cola. After Mr. Whitehead's death in 1906, Mrs. Whitehead immediately assumed responsibility for her family's business affairs, including the expansion of the Coca-Cola bottling business and the family's real estate investments. She went on to become one of the first women to serve on the board of directors of a major American corporation, serving as the director of the Coca-Cola Company for almost 20 years. With a sense of deep compassion for those in need, she gave generously to a number of charitable causes in Georgia and Virginia during her lifetime.

Inspired by his mother's example of caring for others, Conkey Pate Whitehead, Mrs. Whitehead's younger son, created the foundation in honor of his mother. The Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation first began making grants in 1954. In 2007, the foundation gave almost $23 million to the 215 institutions it supports. Since its creation the foundation has distributed more than $300 million.

The 20 historically black colleges and universities benefiting from the foundation include the following:

  • Bethune-Cookman College (Daytona Beach, FL)
  • Claflin University (Orangeburg, SC)
  • Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta)
  • Dillard University (New Orleans)
  • Fisk University (Nashville, TN)
  • Hampton University (Hampton, VA)
  • Meharry Medical College (Nashville, TN)
  • Oakwood College (Huntsville, AL)
  • Paine College (Augusta, GA)
  • Rust College (Holly Springs, MS)
  • St. Augustine's College (Raleigh)
  • St. Paul's College (Lawrenceville, VA)
  • Spelman College (Atlanta)
  • Stillman College (Tuscaloosa, AL)
  • Talladega College (Talladega, AL)
  • Tougaloo College (Tougaloo, MS)
  • Tuskegee University (Tuskegee, AL)
  • Virginia Union University (Richmond)
  • Winston-Salem State University (Winston-Salem, NC)
  • Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans)

The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of more than 570 independent liberal arts colleges and universities and 50 higher education affiliates and organizations that work together to strengthen college and university leadership, sustain high-quality education, and enhance private higher education's contributions to society. To fulfill this mission, CIC provides its members with skills, tools, and knowledge that address aspects of leadership, financial management and performance, academic quality, and institutional visibility. The Council is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

The Southeastern Council of Foundations (SECF) is a membership association of grantmaking foundations and giving programs that promotes excellence throughout the field of philanthropy and the creation of new philanthropic resources to benefit the region. SECF membership consists of more than 360 grantmaking organizations, from 11 Southeastern states with approximately $30 billion in philanthropic assets.

The complete list of institutions receiving funds from the foundation is attached.


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