2019 Philadelphia UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball

Cheyney University President Dr. Aaron Walton speaks at the 2019 Philadelphia UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball.

— PHILADELPHIA TRIBUNE PHOTO/RONALD GRAY

The United Negro College Fund recently announced that it has awarded Cheyney University and Lincoln University, two of the nation’s oldest historically Black universities, $30,000 each in unrestricted cash and additional $30,000 to provide scholarship support to help close out their fiscal years.

“We’re thankful for this partnership with UNCF and Cheyney University because these funds provide much-needed scholarships that benefit Lincoln University students in need,” Lincoln President Brenda Allen said in a statement.

The money was awarded after the seventh annual Philadelphia Mayor’s Masked Ball had its best year yet, raising $736,178. The ball, held in March at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, is a signature fundraising event providing support to numerous students attending UNCF-member colleges and universities and nearly 1,100 other colleges across America.

“We’re delighted and we feel that the decision to highlight both Cheyney and Lincoln as the oldest HBCUs in the United States is mutually beneficial because not only does it benefit us but also UNCF as it highlights some of their efforts in this region,” said Cheyney President Aaron A. Walton. “We will be using $30,000 for the researchers campaign that the alumni is sponsoring and the other $30,000 will be used for our student scholarships.”

Since its inception in 1944, UNCF has raised more than $4.8 billion and helped more than 450,000 students earn college degrees. The organization is the nation’s largest private scholarship provider to minority group members, according to the UNCF website.

“This is the first time that Lincoln and Cheyney have gotten support directly based on the work that we’re doing in Philadelphia, as both universities are not UNCF member institutions,” said Fred D. Mitchell, UNCF vice president of development for the Mid-Atlantic/Midwest Division.

“UNCF supports 37 private HBCUs, and Lincoln and Cheyney are public universities,” he said. “However, we thought it was important to form a partnership with both universities as their work is in line with what UNCF does, and all sides are working to support young African Americans getting a college education.”

Mitchell said the relationship between UNCF and Lincoln and Cheyney is a great opportunity for everyone involved.

“The money awarded will be able to help the kids who might not have the resources to go to school otherwise,” he said.

chill@phillytrib.com (215) 893-5716

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