TMCF Empowering The Next Generation With A Focus on Economic Mobility.
By Rob Knox, TMCF Senior Director of Strategic Communications on October 5, 2022
Shown in Photo: TMCF President and CEO, Dr. Harry L. Williams with students at the 2022 Leadership Institute in New York
“To Change the World…One Leader at a Time” is the ambitious vision of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF). TMCF builds on the legacy of Justice Marshall by providing access to opportunity. Created in 1987, TMCF has provided scholarships to students attending America’s 47 publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Since its founding, the organization has awarded over $500 million in scholarships and leadership development.
Public Historically Black Colleges and Universities have been disproportionally underfunded compared to other publicly funded institutions. TMCF’S support to these institutions provides its students with supplemental programs focused on STEM, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Additionally, TMCF extends its financial resources to students by providing scholarships that give students the financial freedom to explore development opportunities to upskill and hone their talents.
“Financial barriers clearly impact a student’s ability to persist toward graduation but it can also prevent students from availing themselves to career development opportunities that help them compete for lucrative careers”, said TMCF President and CEO, Dr. Harry L. Williams. “For 35 years, TMCF has worked to remove these financial barriers while providing unprecedented access to career development opportunities with Fortune 500 companies. TMCF designs innovative upskilling programs with top companies which has led to more HBCU students being recruited and hired.”
TMCF corporate partnerships with top companies such as Apple, Boeing, Medtronic, Mondelez, Google. Wells Fargo, John Deere, and others has helped to advance diversity efforts within a cross-section of industries while increasing the profile of prospective talent coming from HBCUs.
Talent on HBCU campuses has largely gone untapped even though HBCUs produce nearly 20% of all African American college graduates while only representing 3% of the higher education landscape. Most of the Fortune 500 have limited, if any, recruitment presence at HBCUs. Through their work, Thurgood Marshall College Fund provides an essential link between Corporate America and HBCU talent. TMCF’s talent sourcing programs gives qualified students an opportunity to network, interview, and compete for high profile jobs.
Donations to TMCF support efforts to enhance financial and programmatic resources to more students. TMCF can help remove some of the financial burden of college costs through its scholarship programs. Even with this funding, there is a remaining financial need of $12,000 for every student awarded.
It's possible that these kinds of financial gaps have contributed to low graduation rates, especially since research has shown that one in three college freshmen drop out of school before their second year.
TMCF’s mission to carry forward the legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall has secured its role as a champion of HBCUs and the talented students who attend them. Workplace donations to TMCF ensures the advancement of its critical work in education, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
As HBCUs continue to be the top producers of undergraduates going on to earn doctorates in science and engineering, the work of TMCF has become critical to today’s and tomorrow’s workforce. You can help TMCF keep the doors to a college education open for another student, and join the movement to change the world, one leader at a time.