On March 9, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) will present its highest honor, the Frederick D. Patterson Award, to former Presidents George H. W. Bush and William J. Clinton for their philanthropic efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. President Clinton will be in attendance at the dinner to accept the award for both presidents.
Through the UNCF's Wave of Hope (WOH) campaign, Presidents Bush and Clinton were instrumental in raising $3.4 million dollars to support the rebuilding efforts and students of several historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) along the Gulf Coast. In addition, Presidents Bush and Clinton raised approximately $8 million dollars for HBCUs through the Bush- Clinton Katrina Fund. Since 2005, immediately following the devastation felt by Hurricane Katrina, UNCF has raised more than $7 million to benefit its member schools and students who were impacted.
"Presidents Bush and Clinton have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the region stricken by Hurricane Katrina by partnering in our Wave of Hope campaign," said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., president and CEO of UNCF. "They have joined us to fight for an important cause -- rebuilding HBCUs damaged by Katrina, and rebuilding the lives of Gulf Coast young people determined to get a college education despite the devastation to the colleges they were attending when the hurricane hit. For this, we recognize them with UNCF's highest honor."
The dinner is also a celebration of UNCF's 63 years of providing educational assistance to underserved populations.
Retired Executive Vice President of The Coca-Cola Company, Carl Ware and his wife Mary will be honored with UNCF's President's Award for their support of UNCF member institution, Clark Atlanta University (CAU), the Wares' alma mater. Created in 1996, the UNCF President's Award honors individuals and organizations who have demonstrated an extraordinary dedication to minority higher education. In 2004, CAU named the Carl and Mary Ware Academic Center, in honor of the Wares' commitment to higher education and support of the university. The Wares are the largest alumni donors in CAU's history.
Frank S. Franklin, an alumnus of UNCF's Johnson C. Smith University, will be presented with the Greater New York Inter-Alumni Council's (IAC) Distinguished Alumnus Award for his service and active participation with the New York IAC.
Chair of the anniversary dinner is Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil. He currently serves on the UNCF corporate board.