UNCF Celebrates 75 Years of Lighting the Way to Better Futures at the Hampton Roads Mayors’ Masked Ball

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Seven local mayors to host the 2nd annual Hampton Roads UNCF Mayors’ Masked Ball benefitting deserving students and historically black colleges and universities.

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“ Whether attending one of our local HBCUs such as Hampton, Norfolk State or Virginia Union universities, our goal is to empower our young people to be successful throughout their lives, ensuring better futures for us all,” said Robin Byrd, area development director, UNCF.

In 75 years, UNCF (United Negro College Fund) has helped nearly half a million students earn college degrees. As the largest and most effective minority education organization in the United States, UNCF also actively supports 37 private historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and advocates for minority higher education. As it marks such a major milestone, UNCF is planning a year-long celebration via its fundraising events across the country including the 2nd annual Hampton Roads UNCF Mayors’ Masked Ball set for 7 p.m., Friday, March 22 at the Norfolk Hilton The Main. Nearly 400 guests are expected to attend including the honorable Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander, city of Norfolk; the honorable Mayor Robert M. “Bobby” Dyer, city of Virginia Beach; the honorable Mayor Linda T. Johnson city of Suffolk; the honorable Mayor McKinley L. Price, DDS, city of Newport News; the honorable Mayor John L. Rowe, Jr., city of Portsmouth; the honorable Mayor Donnie Tuck, city of Hampton; and the honorable Mayor Dr. Richard W. “Rick” West, city of Chesapeake.

“UNCF has strived to change the HBCU narrative across the nation,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “Events such as the Hampton Roads Mayors’ Masked Ball raise awareness of our mission and equip more students of color with the resources necessary to transition into college, graduate and ultimately expand and diversify America’s highly educated workforce.”

“It is an honor to serve the community with such a respected organization. Whether attending one of our local HBCUs such as Hampton, Norfolk State or Virginia Union universities, our goal is to empower our young people to be successful throughout their lives, ensuring better futures for us all,” said Robin Byrd, area development director, UNCF. Events like the Mayor’s Masked Ball enabled UNCF to provide more than $118,000 in scholarships last year to students from Virginia.

Thanks to the publication of UNCF’s landmark report, HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the public good served by HBCUs is now known. Virginia’s HBCUs extend influence well beyond the students they educate and are equally important to the communities they have served for more than 100 years. Generating $913 million in total economic impact annually, and Virginia’s five HBCUs also contribute 8,404 jobs to the state.

For being beacons of hope and supporters of UNCF’s mission, the 2019 Masked Award honorees are Joan P. Brock; Jack Ezzell, CEO, Zel Technologies, LLC; Dr. Keith H. Newby, cardiologist, president/founder, Fort Norfolk Plaza; Dr. Harrison B. Wilson, Jr., former president, Norfolk State University; and Riverside Health System, accepted by William B. Downey, president and CEO.

The black-tie event will feature a masked reception, a parade of dignitaries, red carpet photo opportunities, a paddle raise, and live music by the Norfolk University Jazz Ensemble. Kate Mulgrew, actress, “Orange is the New Black,” and Bennett Zier, vice president and general manager, Entercom Communications, will be the emcees. Entertainment to be provided by RaJazz, culminating with a DJ and dancing steps away from the festival marketplace on the Elizabeth River.

For more information or to donate, please visit UNCF.org/HamptonRoadsMMB. Follow this event @UNCF #UNCF #UNCF75.

About UNCF
UNCF (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 students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org, or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.

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Cynetra McMillian
UNCF
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