Nashville, Tenn., August 20, 2018 – Fisk University is excited to announce a $3 million gift from Dallas Businessman and Philanthropist Roland G. Parrish, one of the largest gifts in the school’s history. This historic gift will fund the construction of the new Roland G. Parrish Center for Career Planning and Development that will house everything from classrooms to conference rooms, as well as meeting and innovation spaces.  The highly anticipated new construction is part of President Rome’s strategic initiative to prepare the next generation of business executives and community leaders.

“I believe in the Fisk future and the University’s leadership. Fisk’s extraordinary history is well documented. I am excited about its future and the impact this will have on students for generations to come,” said Roland Parrish. “My hope is that this gift will inspire others to get even more engaged.  The campus has been void of construction for a number of years.  It takes something like this to remind people that Fisk is about succeeding, not surviving. The sky is the limit for Fisk.”

“Mr. Parrish embodies a truly altruistic ‘doing well, doing good’ vision, which is evidenced not only by his tremendous success with Parrish Restaurants, Ltd., but also by his unparalleled belief and extension of community support, from Dallas to Uganda and now Nashville,” added Dr. Jens Frederiksen, vice president of institutional advancement and strategic development.

Parrish is highly committed to giving back to the community, especially causes that support the education and welfare of youth. He is currently CEO of Parrish Restaurants, Ltd., which owns and operates 25 restaurants in Dallas and surrounding areas.  His company is the 7th largest minority owned firm in North Texas. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army. Parrish received his BS and MBA from Purdue’s Krannert School of Business.

For the second year in a row, Fisk has posted record fundraising totals. The unaudited 2017-2018 fundraising totals exceeded $7.7 million (excluding private grants) and alumni giving participation increased to over 33 percent. The 2018 – 2019 fall freshman class is twice the size of last year’s class. The campus has undergone some significant renovations including the Fisk Jubilee Singers’ ® new home, the Talley/Curb House, and a newly modernized cafeteria and dining room.


About Fisk University

Founded in 1866, Fisk University is a private, liberal arts university located in Nashville, Tennessee. Consistently recognized for its brand of academic excellence, Fisk is ranked among the Top 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the 2018 U.S. News & World Report. Fisk also ranked #4 for most awarded research expenditures in the 2017 rankings of National Liberal Arts Institutions by The Washington Monthly. To learn more about Fisk University, please visit


  1. Thanks so much Mr. Parish. Historically Black Colleges need our support and it’s especially wonderful that a gift of this size comes from a black man.

  2. Congratulations, Mr. Parish. I can’t imagine ever doing anything that affects our country and my university than your kind gift to it. I admire the thought, the effort, the gift. Thank you. Martha Tucker, Fisk alumni.

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