March 05, 2010 00:33 ET

UNCF Celebrates 66th Anniversary With Awards to the Late John H. and Eunice Johnson, Johnson Publishing Company, JPMorgan Chase, Benny Andrews and Dr. Donnie Eddins

JPMorgan Chase Provides $1.25 Million to UNCF's Campaign for Emergency Student Aid

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - March 5, 2010) - Celebrating its 66th anniversary last night in New York, UNCF -- the United Negro College Fund -- the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization, honored the publishers of Jet and Ebony magazine, the nation's second largest bank, a renowned artist, and a Merck & Co. scientist for their contributions to education. The awards were presented at UNCF's 66th Anniversary Dinner before a crowd of over 1,300 people at New York's Sheraton New York Hotel and Tower. UNCF provides more than 10,000 scholarships each year, supports its 39 member historically black colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education.

Linda Johnson Rice, chair and CEO of the Johnson Publishing Company, which publishes the two magazines, accepted UNCF's Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her parents, the late John and Eunice Johnson, who founded Johnson Publishing 68 years ago. UNCF's President's Award was presented to JPMorgan Chase, for supporting $1.25 million in emergency scholarships for graduating seniors at UNCF member colleges through the organization's Campaign for Emergency Student Aid. A second President's Award was presented to the Benny Andrews Foundation. The award recognizes the bequest of Andrews, a well-known artist whose work hangs in the Museum of Modern Art and other museums, of a large collection of his paintings to UNCF for exhibition at its member schools and other cultural and civic institutions.

Dr. Donnie Eddins, a scientist at Merck & Co. and a graduate of UNCF member institution Talladega College, was honored with UNCF's "Ones to Watch" award, which recognizes accomplished young graduates of UNCF member colleges and universities.

JPMorgan Chase's support of UNCF's Campaign for Emergency Student Aid (CESA) brings the campaign to within $750,000 of its $5 million goal. CESA was launched at last year's UNCF Anniversary Dinner to help recession-impacted seniors at UNCF colleges stay in school and graduate. A UNCF survey revealed that thousands of member-college students, including more than 2,000 graduating seniors, were carrying unpaid balances for tuition, text books, and room and board as a result of family layoffs and pay cuts and the disappearance of many commercial student loan programs as part of the credit crunch. At the dinner, JPMorgan Chase Sr. Vice President of Commercial Banking, Thelma Ferguson, challenged UNCF to raise an additional $750,000 to meet its $5 million goal and help all the seniors that need financial assistance to graduate and begin their careers. UNCF urges individuals, corporations and foundations to meet this challenge to help thousands of students to graduate this spring.

"JPMorgan Chase's commitment is a challenge to all who understand the importance of an education and the doors it can open," said Michael L. Lomax, UNCF president and CEO. "They have set an example and we all need to follow their lead and help these students graduate and get the education they need and that our nation needs them to have."

The Johnson Publishing Company's founders, the late John H. and Eunice Johnson, were honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for their accomplishments and commitment to minority education and philanthropy. Mrs. Johnson received her bachelor's degree from UNCF member school, Talladega College. She created the Ebony Fashion Fair and raised more than $50 million for charities that included UNCF. She also donated $1 million to UNCF to endow the Eunice Walker Johnson Endowed Scholarship. Mr. Johnson, president of the Johnson Publishing Company, served as a member of the UNCF Board of Directors for more than 30 years. Their daughter Linda Johnson Rice, who accepted the award, has served on the UNCF board for five years.

"It is an honor to accept this award on behalf of my parents and Johnson Publishing Company," said Linda Johnson Rice, Johnson Publishing Chair and CEO. "My family and my company have always believed that success in life begins with a good education. And my parents devoted their lives to making sure others could have the same start as they did. It is important for all of us to continue to support UNCF in the critical work that they do to ensure the next generation of leaders is prepared to help our nation compete globally."

The late Benny Andrews was honored with UNCF's President's Award for his longtime support of UNCF and higher education. The Benny Andrews Foundation recently selected UNCF to receive 128 pieces of his art collection and to assist with the exhibition of his art in the collections of UNCF's HBCUs, African American museums and other places where people come together to learn about culture and American life. Mr. Andrews' widow, artist Nene Humphrey, accepted the award on behalf of the foundation.

"The partnership that the Benny Andrews Foundation has with UNCF provides a meaningful way to honor the legacy of Benny Andrews, whose life demonstrated the importance of education, and who in turn devoted his career to representing, teaching, and championing African American communities," said Nene Humphrey, Andrews' widow and president of the Benny Andrews Foundation. "It is a privilege to accept this award and we truly believe in UNCF's motto, 'A mind is a terrible thing to waste.'"®

About UNCF

UNCF -- the United Negro College Fund -- is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students' education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 39 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 18 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."® Learn more at

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