A pair of philanthropists and alumni of Howard University Eddie and S. Sylvia Brown make the largest alumni donation HBCU has ever received.
According to a press release, Browns promised $ 5 million to be allocated for access to the retention of diplomas to continuing achievement (GRACE), a needs-based fund set up by Howard University President Dr. Wayne AI Frederick in 2014
“We are extremely grateful to Eddie and Sylvia for making this historic gift to Howard University,” Frederick said in a statement. “The GRACE grant has helped remove financial barriers to Howard student education, and I am thrilled that the Browns were inspired to make such a generous gift to this important fund. I hope that students will be inspired by their history and generosity, and that others in our former community will look at the many ways in which they can also influence current and future generations of Howard students.
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The Browns say they get it back because Howard gave them the opportunity as a community organizer to help them get into school when they had little money as they grew up.
“I moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania when I was 15,” said Eddie Brown, according to the university. “We had a community organizer who would take care of the little black children in the community. One day he came to me and my mother and said, “I got in touch with a woman who wanted to help a young African-American student go to college.” And that was my 10th grade English teacher who was a Howard graduate [who] said, “You have to go to Howard University.”
Eddie later received a full travel scholarship due to his family’s financial situation, which allowed him to graduate with a degree in electrical engineering. He later co-founded the Baltimore-based Brown Capital Management, which now manages $ 17.3 billion in assets and is one of the oldest black asset management companies in the country.
“We were very lucky to be able to go to Howard,” said Sylvia Brown. “I had student loans and I know how difficult it is. Being from a family of four, my parents did their best, but that was never enough to pay all the fees. And this is our mantra, to give to others and help them at least get a bachelor’s degree to have a good foundation. “
“Our only hope is that the students who benefit from our contribution will do their best,” she added.
Grant Grant provides financial relief for students and aims to increase graduation rates on time. According to Howard University, students in the program experience a 17% increase in retention and an average four-year completion rate of 78% compared to those who did not receive the grant.