University of Georgia graduates have started a new campaign to provide needs-based scholarships for African-American students.
The university’s alumni association has created The 1961 Club to also better engage its estimated 14,000 living African-American alumni. The effort was launched during an alumni event Tuesday in Atlanta.
The name comes from the year Hamilton E. Holmes and Charlayne Hunter-Gault became the first African-American students to register for classes at UGA. Tuesday marked the 57th anniversary they integrated UGA.
UGA has tried many ways in recent years to boost its African-American enrollment, currently 8.5 percent, according to state data.
Those involved in the effort are encouraging UGA alumni, donors and friends to give a monthly gift of $19.61, or a one-time gift of $196.10 or $1,961, to support the Black Alumni Scholarship Fund. Members of The 1961 Club will also receive donor recognition from other UGA giving societies that correspond with their gift level.
“Our students are at the precipice of achieving their dreams and it is important for alumni to reconnect, guide and support them, so they can continue the legacy that was started in 1961,” Raymond Phillips, president of the Black Alumni Leadership Council, said in a statement.