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United Negro College Fund

Source: Courtesy of the United Negro College Fund / Joseph Allen

UNCF’s “A Mind Is…” Hamptons Summer Benefit Helps Students Attend Historically Black Colleges

The United Negro College Fund hosted a party for a purpose in the Hamptons.

UNCF’s “A Mind Is…” Summer Benefit gala Aug. 3 honored Sharlee Jeter, vice president of strategy and development at Jeter Ventures and R. Donahue Peebles, the CEO of real estate investment firm The Peebles Corporation. The benefit recognized Peebles and Jeter for their leadership in diversity and education while raising money to help fund students’ tuition to historically black colleges and universities.

The event – held at a private estate – raised more than $350,000 that will help the education nonprofit continue to support young people as they attend college. New York Comptroller Thomas DeNapoli also presented a check for $60,000 to UNCF head Dr. Michael L. Lomax that represented unclaimed funds from the state.

The gala also celebrated the 75th anniversary of the country’s largest minority education organization, which has helped fund college tuition for more than 450,000 students, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Spike Lee and Samuel L. Jackson.

UNCF awards more than 10,000 scholarships annually and currently supports some 50,000 students pursuing higher education, Dr. Lomax told attendees.

United Negro College Fund summer penefit

Source: Courtesy of United Negro College Fund / Joseph Allen

Urban One founder Kathy Hughes introduced honoree Peebles.

“Don has single-handedly replicated himself thousands of times over by embracing underprivileged youth, encouraging them and instilling in them the desire to do whatever they have the potential to do,” Ms. Hughes said.

Attendees also heard from UNCF scholar Kristen Gordon, who received a $10,000 scholarship from UNCF, which helped her graduate from Spelman last year and is now a schoolteacher.

“Within time, I was awarded the ability to finish my journey at a place I had learned to call home,” Gordon said. “Without this scholarship, I honestly do not know if I would have been able to stand in front you all as a graduate of the number one HBCU in the world!”

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