The United Negro College Fund is the nation's largest and oldest fund-raising organization for African American education. It provides operating funds and scholarships for 39 historically Black colleges and universities. This entry looks at its history and contributions.

When Frederick D. Patterson became president of Tuskegee Institute in 1935, he quickly realized that his institution—and Black colleges in general—were in the midst of a fund-raising crisis. He found it difficult to run Tuskegee in an efficient manner while meeting the needs of poor students. Moreover, Patterson observed that he and all of the other Black college presidents were competing for the same dwindling pool of funds from foundations. In 1943, in response to this critical situation, Patterson crafted the idea of a united appeal for private ...

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