Fisk University has just received one of its largest donations with a recent $3 million gift. Learn more about the HBCU’s donor and the reason behind it in the release below.

Credit: Fisk University

Fisk University announced today one of the largest gifts in its 155-year history, a $3 million donation from Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. The gift will support infrastructural improvements to classroom and learning spaces, including Jubilee Hall, the oldest permanent structure on any historically black college and university (HBCU) campus.   

“This $3 million donation from Cravath, Swaine & Moore is simply extraordinary,” said Fisk President Vann Newkirk. “This donation will support our continuing efforts to create the best possible learning environment for our outstanding and growing student body.” 

“Fisk has a remarkable legacy as one of our country’s great HBCUs, and our relationship with the University dates back to its founding during Reconstruction,” said Faiza J. Saeed, Presiding Partner at Cravath. “We are proud to continue to support Fisk’s mission and the promise of its diverse student body.”

Fisk University’s founders included noted abolitionist Reverend Erastus Milo Cravath, whose son, Paul Drennan Cravath, would go on to become a named partner in the Firm. Erastus Cravath served as the first President of the University, a role he held for more than two decades, raising his family on the grounds of the Fisk campus. Sharing his father’s passion for the mission of the school, Paul Cravath served in various leadership roles at Fisk for 45 years.  In 2019, Fisk and Cravath established the Cravath Scholars Program, supporting high-achieving students studying across a range of disciplines with tuition assistance and a summer internship in Cravath’s New York office. 

“Fisk University continues to experience a major upswing with fundraising and enrollment records,” said Jens Frederiksen, Fisk’s Executive Vice President. “Over the past five years, Fisk has established some amazing partnerships that provide students with unprecedented opportunities and exposure. With partners like Cravath, the Fisk future has never looked brighter, and we are very hopeful that more and more companies will support Fisk’s inspiring mission.”

Founded in 1866, Fisk University is committed to the success of scholars and leaders with global perspectives, producing graduates from diverse backgrounds with the integrity and intellect required for substantive contributions to society.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP was founded in 1819 and is widely recognized as one of the world’s premier law firms. The Firm has 476 lawyers in New York City and London.