UNCF (United Negro College Fund)

UNCF (United Negro College Fund)

The UNCF was incorporated on April 25, 1944 by Frederick D. Patterson, Mary McLeod Bethune, and others.


About UNCF

Happy Female Graduate

At a time when a college degree is what a high school diploma was to previous generations, the minimum entry-level requirement for almost every well-paying career, UNCF plays a critical role in enabling more than 60,000 students each year to attend college and get the education they want and deserve. To close the educational attainment gap between African Americans and the majority population, UNCF helps promising students attend college and graduate by:

• Providing operating funds for its 39 member colleges, all of them small, liberal arts institutions, making it possible for them to offer their students 21st century academic programs while keeping their tuitions to less than half the average of other private colleges;

• Administering 400 scholarship and internship programs, so that even students from low- and moderate-income families can afford college tuition, books and room and board;

• Serving as a national advocate for the importance minority higher education by representing the public policy interests of its students and member colleges, through its annual television program, An Evening of Stars®, and by using print and electronic media to carry out the mission implicit in its motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."®

Click here to read a wonderful tribute article about Michael, from the UNCF website


Misc MJ facts:

In 1986, Michael Jackson donated $1.5 million to UNCF to establish a scholarship endowment, The Michael Jackson Scholarship—a fund whose interest funds scholarships each year while the original gift continues to earn interest so that future students can receive scholarships. This fund has enabled over 500 students to attend college since 1986, and thanks to foresight on Jackson's part, the original gift continues to earn interest so that future students can also receive scholarships.

In 1988 Michael was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters (Honorary Doctorate) aka The Frederick D. Patterson Award, the UNCF's highest honor from UNCF member institution Fisk University by President Dr. Henry Ponder during the UNCF 44th anniversay dinner in New York. Michael's close friend Quincy Jones delivered the tribute to his friend and Whitney Houston sang at the event. Michael stresses the  importance of education during his acceptance speech stating at one point "An education opens a person's mind to the entire world. And there is nothing more important than to make sure everyone has the opportunity for an education". Jackson concluded his speech "To want to learn, to have the capacity to learn and not be able to is a tragedy.". Jackson's philanthropic efforts are praised by Kellogg Company Chairman and CEO William E. LaMothe , Sony Corporation of America President and CEO Neil Vander Dussen and Barclays Bank Of New York President and CEO John Spencer.


Also in 1988, Michael headlined a sold-out UNCF benefit performance at Madison Square Garden in New York and donated the proceeds, $600,000, to UNCF.


Scholarship facts:

The scholarship is worth approximately $4,000, and is specifically for undergraduate students attending a UNCF member institution.
Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and submit the Free Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA).
Recipients may use these funds to pay for tuition, room and board, books, or to pay federal student loans.


Click here to learn more about the Michael Jackson Scholarship