HBCU’s Capital Campaign Pulls in $181.4 Million

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (A&T), Greensboro, N.C., raised $181.4 million during an eight-year capital campaign. The public, Historically Black College or University’s (HBCU) campaign, which ended Dec. 31, 2020, more than doubled its initial $85 million goal, and generated close to twice its $100 million stretch goal.

Among the donors, 35 corporations and individuals gave more than $1 million, including an unrestricted gift of $45 million from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, which was 24.8% of the total giving. Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has signed “The Giving Pledge,” in which she committed to giving away the bulk of her fortune during her lifetime.

According to a post on A&T’s website, the $181.4 million is believed to be the largest amount raised by a public HBCU. A&T’s total assets under investment as of March 31 were $153 million, which the A&T post also claimed was the largest of any public HBCU. When the campaign launched in 2012, its endowment stood at $28 million.

“It seems as though only yesterday, we were announcing the public phase of the campaign and hoping we might reach $100 million,” campaign Co-chair Royall Mack said via the A&T post. “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.”

Alumni donors contributed heavily, with 14,837 such givers making up 70% of gifts to the campaign. In all, more than 21,300 donors contributed to the campaign since its 2012 launch.

Funds raised by the capital campaign support ongoing and new initiatives, including:

  • February One scholarships, merit-based awards that honor four A&T civil rights activists of 1960. The first class of February One scholars will matriculate in fall 2021;
  • An additional 270 scholarships across the university;
  • New centers of excellence that will be established in education, health and human services and the liberal arts, as well as newer centers of excellence for the cybersecurity, entrepreneurship and product design and advanced manufacturing disciplines;
  • Augmentation and investment in the university’s research mission, including support for new faculty, laboratory needs, computer infrastructure and graduate student support; and,
  • Boosts in visibility for programs that support the university’s development as a land-grant institution and doctoral research university.

During A&T’s fiscal year 2017, the campaign raised $14.7 million, and has generated at least $15 million in every year since, including at least $88 million during its 2021 fiscal year. The campaign only counted funds raised or pledged through Dec. 31, 2020 in its fiscal year 2021 totals.