Thanks to Tennessean writer Julie Hubbard for the excellent series on historically black colleges. In the early 1970s, most small black colleges were losing students to racially integrated state institutions. Their endowments were low. Their pools of affluent alumni were small. Through the initiative of the Nashville-based United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry, a church-wide Black College Fund was created to ensure that the 11 historically black schools related to the denomination were solvent, well-managed, and fully accredited.
All United Methodist congregations contribute to the Black College Fund, which has produced more than $294 million since its creation in 1972. The recently approved goal for the Fund during the next four year is $42.1 million.
United Methodists can be justly proud of these institutions, including one here in our own community: Meharry Medical College. The others are: Dillard University, New Orleans; Philander Smith College, Little Rock; Bennett College for Women, Greensboro, N.C.; Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, Fla.; Claflin University, Orangeburg, S.C.; Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta; Huston-Tillotson University, Austin, Texas; Paine College, Augusta, Ga.; Rust College, Holy Springs, Miss.; and Wiley College, Marshall, Texas.