Philander gets $1.2 million
By Max Brantley, Arkansas Times
PHILANDER SMITH NEWS RELEASE
Philander Smith College announced today its first major gift toward its social justice initiative, a $1.2 million grant from The Kresge Foundation to help establish the Center for Social Justice on the campus of the private, historically black institution.
The award includes a $300,000 challenge grant.
Kresge’s multi-year support will help fund the hiring of key staff that will oversee the college’s social justice initiative. An executive director and program staff will be responsible for training faculty to infuse social justice into their curriculum, establishing a visiting professor program focused on social justice issues and implementing an incentive program for students to focus on civic engagement, among other projects designed to establish a Center for Social Justice at Philander Smith.
“I’m honored to present this grant on behalf of The Kresge Foundation because the vision for the Center For Social Justice at Philander Smith College is aligned closely with the objectives we have focused on for more than 80 years,” said William Moses, program officer for The Kresge Foundation. “Our education work supports greater post-secondary access and success for low-income and under-represented students. We are impressed not only with Philander Smith’s proud tradition as an HBCU committed to these same values, but with the creation a new Center for Social Justice that will exemplify them everyday.”
The challenge portion of the grant requires the college to raise $300,000 in private support by Dec. 31, 2012 to secure a matching $300,000 gift from Kresge. The goal of the challenge is to help increase the college’s endowment and rate of alumni giving.
“We are extremely grateful to The Kresge Foundation for their confidence in our mission to graduate students who are grounded as advocates for social justice,” said Philander Smith College President Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough. “In 2007 when we adopted the social justice initiative, our vision was to create a Center devoted to these issues. Now, with Kresge’s support, we are able to make some monumental strides toward the realization of that goal.”
“We are thrilled about Kresge’s support of our social justice project, but the foundation’s challenge grant to help increase our endowment and alumni giving will help to fortify Philander Smith’s fiscal strength for years to come, and for that we are truly grateful,” said Dr. Shannon Fleming, vice president for advancement.
The Kresge Foundation is a $3.1 billion Michigan-based private, national foundation that seeks to influence the quality of life for future generations through its support of nonprofit organizations in six areas of interest: health, the environment, community development, arts and culture, education and human services.
Grants from The Kresge Foundation are highly sought after and considered a loud statement in support of the recipient organization and its projects.