United Negro College Fund headquarters in Washington, D.C.

American philanthropic organization that funds scholarships for black students and general scholarship funds for 37 private historically black colleges and universities.


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William H. Gray III

American politician and member of the Democratic Party who represented from 1979 to 1991.

Portrait of Gray in the Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives

He resigned from Congress in September of that year to become president and chief executive officer of the United Negro College Fund, a position he held until 2004.

Lou Rawls

American record producer, singer, composer and actor.

Rawls in 1995
Rawls performing with Frank Gorshin in 1977
Lou Rawls (right) at Baltimore's Inner Harbor (1980) being interviewed by local news anchor Curt Anderson, promoting the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon
Lou Rawls's tomb at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)

In 1980, Rawls began the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon which benefits the United Negro College Fund.

Frederick D. Patterson

Patterson in 1964

Frederick Douglass Patterson (October 10, 1901 – April 26, 1988) was an American academic administrator, the president of what is now Tuskegee University (1935–1953), and founder of the United Negro College Fund (1944, UNCF).

Bethune–Cookman University

Private historically black university in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Mary McLeod Bethune with a group of students in 1943
The Marching Wildcats (The Pride) of Bethune–Cookman create the "BCU" formation while playing before a packed Citrus Bowl Stadium at the Florida Classic.

It joined the United Negro College Fund and other academic and professional organizations.


Term historically used to denote persons considered to be of Black African heritage.

A European map of West Africa, 1736. Included is the archaic mapping designation of Negroland.
Prevalence of "negro" as a demonym has varied in American English. All-Negro Comics was a 1947 comic anthology written by African-American writers and featuring black characters.
"Negritos o Aetas" illustration in Bosquejo Geográfico e Histórico-natural del Archipielago Filipino (Ramón Jordana y Morera, 1885)
Street plate in Medina of Tunis showing, in Arabic and French, Negroes street.

The term Negro is still used in some historical contexts, such as the songs known as Negro spirituals, the Negro leagues of baseball in the early and mid-20th century, and organizations such as the United Negro College Fund.

Vernon Jordan

American business executive and civil rights activist who worked for various civil rights movement organizations before becoming a close advisor to President Bill Clinton.

Jordan in 2019
Jordan working on a voter education project in 1967.
Vernon Jordan shares conversation with famed photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt. At the time, Jordan was visiting President Clinton on the island of Martha's Vineyard.
Jordan at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2019.

In 1970, Jordan became executive director of the United Negro College Fund.

Mary McLeod Bethune

American educator, philanthropist, humanitarian, womanist, and civil rights activist.

Bethune photographed by Carl Van Vechten on April 6, 1949
The cabin in Mayesville, South Carolina 
where Mary McLeod was born
Mary McLeod Bethune with girls from the Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls in Daytona, c. 1905.
Marian Anderson celebrated contralto and Mary McLeod Bethune, Director of Negro Affairs in the National Youth Administration at the launching of the SS Booker T. Washington with unidentified workers who helped construct the first Liberty ship named for an African American at the California Shipbuilding Corporation's yards by Alfred T. Palmer.
Mary McLeod Bethune (left) and Eleanor Roosevelt (center), 1943
Painting of Bethune by Betsy Graves Reyneau
The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site in Washington, D.C.
A painting of Bethune on display at the World Methodist Museum, Lake Junaluska, North Carolina
Mary Bethune bust by Selma Burke

She co-founded the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) on April 25, 1944, with William J. Trent and Frederick D. Patterson.

Ad Council

American nonprofit organization that produces, distributes, and promotes public service announcements on behalf of various sponsors, including nonprofit organizations, non-governmental organizations and agencies of the United States government.

The Ad Council's longtime logo, used from 1974 until 2018.
The "We Can Do It!" poster was used by the Ad Council for its 70th anniversary celebration, through a Facebook app called "Rosify Yourself". However, the historic image was not produced by the War Advertising Council.

United Negro College Fund (1972–present) This campaign, with its slogan "A mind is a terrible thing to waste," has helped raise more than $2.2 billion and helped to graduate more than 400,000 minority students from college or beyond.

Wilberforce University

Private historically black university in Wilberforce, Ohio.

Seal of Wilberforce University
Daniel Alexander Payne in the early 1890s

It participates in the United Negro College Fund.

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

Largest trade union of public employees in the United States.

Members marching in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street in New York, October 2011
AFSCME members by the US Capitol, 2013
AFSCME members with then-Senator Barack Obama, 2008

In 2014, AFSCME cut ties with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) after UNCF accepted a $25 million contribution from Charles and David Koch.