In a city noted for it’s investment in Black education, corporate donors and philanthropists frequently dig deep to provide improved access to education for thousands of ambitious college students. To that end, Clark Atlanta University received a $1 million gift from Chick-fil-A, and another $2.5 million from longtime benefactor Bill Pickard through The William F. Pickard Foundation for scholarships and to rename a residence building to Beckwith Hall in honor of the donors.
The $1 million will be a part of the “historic” $250 million campaign for Clark Atlanta University to help fund students’ access, retention, and graduation efforts. It was shared on the HBCU’s Instagram profile.
Both Pickard and Chick-Fil-A have been consistent and generous in donation to HBCU’s and other institutions of higher education.
Pickard, co-owner of Real Times Media, co-managing partner of MGM Grand Detroit Casino, and Chairman of Global Automotive Alliance explains his commitment to philanthropy and providing educational opportunities is in his DNA. I have a very simple philosophy about life, anybody from anywhere can accomplish anything if you put the work in. And that’s been proven time and time again,” the beloved businessman explained. “I am very proud to tell you that I am a social worker with a Ph.D. It doesn’t matter what zip code you come from, if you’re prepared to put the work in you can accomplish whatever you so desire,” he reiterated.
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In a press release, CAU president Dr. George T. French Jr. praised the company’s commitment to uplifting the lives of its student body and their matriculation at the institution.
“Chick-fil-A’s generous commitment of $1 million is an investment in the bright futures of Clark Atlanta University students and will help ensure that we continue building on our mission of delivering education that is accessible, relevant, and transformative,” French said.
French paraphrased the school’s motto of “I’ll Find a Way or Make One” that evokes perseverance through strife. “With partners like Chick-fil-A, our vision of being a leading institution of higher learning that impacts society through transformative, educational experiences is within reach. At Clark Atlanta, finding a way or making a way is a community endeavor,” he said.
The funding will be released across a two-year span to “broaden and deepen its services” to better students’ experiences and resources, as well as contribute to technological, medical, and infrastructural advancements the HBCU hopes to pioneer.
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