Local Leaders and UNCF Upstate South Carolina Partner for Brighter Futures for Students

Helping to lead fundraising efforts toward quality education; ultimately impacting the South Carolina workforce

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Greenville, SC) America’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) inject billions of dollars in economic impact into the national economy, according to HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, a landmark study released today by UNCF (United Negro College Fund). The impact described in the report includes almost $15 billion annually in economic impact.

In South Carolina:
• The total economic impact of South Carolina’s HBCUS is $463 million
• HBCUs generate 4,985 jobs in total for their local and regional economics
• Each $1 million initially spent by a South Carolina HBCU and its students creates 12 jobs
• There are six HBCUs within a 2.5 hour drive from Greenville, Allen University, Benedict College, Claflin University, Morris College, South Carolina State University and Voorhees College, all dedicated to educating and enhancing the lives of future leaders.

Local corporate, faith-based and civic leaders, from throughout the Upstate are partnering with UNCF to help increase awareness of the organization’s relevant work and to assist with fundraising efforts. This includes the launch of the Upstate South Carolina Leadership Council, led by Carlos Phillips, President and CEO of the Greenville Chamber. The UNCF Upstate annual gala is being reimagined to increase support and participation.

This year marks the first year the UNCF annual event will be hosted by Mayor Knox White, along with the mayors of Greer and Anderson who are serving as co-hosts. Phillips, who is also serving as the 2018 Mayor’s Masked Ball Chair believes this is an event in which everyone should participate. Phillips states, “The Greenville Chamber is pleased to support UNCF and the Upstate Mayor’s Masked Ball. The UNCF has a long history of raising funds that help kids get to and through college. Historically black colleges and universities play a vital role in developing talent that is sorely needed by our employers, and the Chamber is delighted to assist in this initiative so aligned with our vision and mission.”

Here’s why: As the economy continues to grow in Upstate South Carolina employers are looking for a diverse pool of college educated professionals. These employers need young men and women who receive college degrees each year. Hundreds of thousands of students look to UNCF for the support they need to help pay for tuition, text books and other college costs.

"Greenville Health System (GHS) is pleased to continue its long-term partnership and support of UNCF in Upstate South Carolina,” said Brenda Thames, EdD, executive vice president and provost for GHS’ Health Sciences Center. “For many years, GHS has been committed to providing a pipeline for students interested in a healthcare career. To this end, our efforts align with UNCF's commitment to ensuring young people have access to a quality college education and prepared to enter the workforce. Recently, GHS has partnered with Claflin University to create a pipeline for students interested in pursuing medical school. This new partnership paves the way for more highly-qualified graduates of one of South Carolina's UNCF member schools to become physicians.”

By investing in the success of the UNCF Upstate South Carolina Mayor’s Masked Ball, thousands of students have a brighter future because of the support they have received. Specifically, during the 2016-17 academic year, over $1.6 million in scholarships were awarded to 211 students attending colleges in South Carolina, including UNCF’s five member schools.

With the support of Mayor White and other mayor’s representing major cities in the Upstate, UNCF plans to engage many more corporate and individual sponsors willing to invest in better futures for students. Sponsors show their investment by supporting at levels ranging from $1,500 to $15,000. The UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball is hosted by a diverse group of individuals and corporations. For many years, leading the way has been Michelin, BMW, Greenville Health, Summit Media and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of South Carolina.

The Upstate South Carolina Mayor’s Masked Ball will be held at the Hyatt Regency Greenville at 7:00 pm on Saturday, March 24, 2018. For more information on the event, sponsorship opportunities and to purchase individual tickets, visit uncf.org/upstatemb.

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About the Greenville Chamber
The Greenville Chamber, now in its 129th year of operation, is the largest business organization in Upstate South Carolina with over 2100 Investors supporting the vision of a globally competitive Upstate economy where businesses succeed and people prosper. For information, visit greenvillechamber.org.

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. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.”® Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities. Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter @UNCF.