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North Carolina A&T State wraps record $181M capital campaign
Includes $45 million gift by MacKenzie Scott
Published Tuesday, June 8, 2021
by Herbert L. White

North Carolina A&T State University wrapped a record-breaking capital campaign that racked up $181.4 million in gifts over nine years. The take included a record $45 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and 14,837 alumni accounted for 70% of donors.

North Carolina A&T State University’s eight-year capital campaign was one for the record book.

The Greensboro school – America’s largest Black college by enrollment – reported $181.4 million in gifts for the Campaign for North Carolina A&T, including record alumni giving and 35 donations in excess of $1 million. One of them was a school record $45 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott that more than doubled the initial goal of $85 million in 2019.

The campaign total is believed to be the largest ever raised by a public HBCU and elevates A&T’s total assets, including endowment, to $153 million, also the most of any public HBCU.

“More than 21,300 donors took a hard look at North Carolina A&T and invested in its promise and potential. Our students, faculty and academic programs earned those investments, and the total of that generosity is a reflection of the quality of this community of scholars,” said Chancellor Harold Martin. “We’re grateful for what this says about our university now, and excited about what it means for our future.”

The campaign, which launched in 2012, gained momentum in 2017 when it took in $14.7 million, and raised at least $15 million every fiscal year since. Fiscal year 2020 reached $18.1 million and exploded in fiscal 2021 with $88 million, including Scott’s unrestricted gift as part of her $6 billion in philanthropic contributions in 2020. Scott granted $410 million to HBCUs last year.

Alumni accounted for 70% of donors, with 14,837 contributors. 

“It seems as though only yesterday, we were announcing the public phase of the campaign and hoping we might reach $100 million,” said campaign co-chair Royall Mack. “The degree by which we exceeded that total is remarkable, but it is no accident. This is only the beginning of what is possible for North Carolina A&T, and I believe the coming years will bear that out emphatically.”

Among the initiatives supported by gifts:

• February One scholarships, merit-based awards named in honor of the legendary A&T Four civil rights activists of 1960. The first class of February One scholars has been admitted for the fall semester.

• 270 new scholarships, many of supporting multiple awards, in colleges and departments across the university, as well as university-wide student awards. 

• New centers of excellence in product design and advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, health and human sciences, education and liberal arts.

• New faculty related to A&T’s research mission with start-up funding for laboratory needs, computing infrastructure and graduate student support.

• Initiatives for programs and disciplines considered important to the school’s growth and development as a land-grant institution and research university.

“Over the past 130 years, North Carolina A&T has developed as a university through serious individual and collective commitment, often charting success despite the availability of public and private investments rather than because of them,” said campaign co-chair Willie Deese. “The funds raised in this campaign are making possible a great many things that some longstanding research universities may take for granted, and the excitement around that make its own mighty contribution to the success and momentum of our university.”


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