P&G CEO presents $2 million check for Tuskegee's Legacy Campaign


TUSKEGEE UNIVERSITY, AL − (Feb. 27, 2003) - More than just a word, "leadership" is a core value at the Procter & Gamble Company.

For 25 years, as P&G has produced leading brands, Tuskegee University has produced leaders for P&G.

About 70 members of the 165-year-old Cincinnati, Ohio-based company’s employees are Tuskegee alumni , many are in leadership positions. Eight more Tuskegeeans have accepted positions at the nation’s No. 1 maker of household products, while four Tuskegee students will soon begin P&G internships.

"The P&G-Tuskegee partnership has spanned more than 25 years," said Procter & Gamble’s President, Chief Executive and Chairman A.G. Lafley . "Tuskegee is consistently among our top suppliers of new hire talent and in fact is at the very top in terms of African-American hires."

Alongside Tuskegee University’s President, Dr. Benjamin F. Payton, at a Feb. 26 program on campus, Lafley announced a historic $2 million pledge. The largest donation ever made to a Historically Black College or University from The P&G Fund is now known as the "leadership gift" that officially launched Tuskegee’s Legacy Campaign.

The three-year Legacy Campaign is a $60 million extension of the successful, 10-year, $150 million Capital Campaign for Tuskegee that ended in 2001 after raising an impressive $169 million for capital and educational improvements. P&G gave $1 million to that Campaign in 1992. The combined fund-raising goal is $229 million by 2005.

"I am grateful to Mr. Lafley and Procter & Gamble for the $3 million the company has committed to Tuskegee University over the past decade," Payton said. "It takes a considerable amount of money to remain competitive, cutting-edge and attractive to students. Our friends and supporters have funded efforts to preserve and modernize this beautiful, historic campus and to further enhance students’ academic experience, but there is more to be done."

The "unfinished business" Payton said, includes work on residential and academic facilities, construction of a new College of Business and Information Science building, refurbishing of such historic structures as White Hall and bolstering the endowment for scholarships and faculty chairs.

Though $229 million may sound "like a lot of money," it is only a start toward ensuring Tuskegee’s place as a top-notch, technology infused University.

"We are a major institution, and this is the 21st Century," Payton said. "Students demand quality and modern learning and living environments and employers demand graduates who are ready for work."

Procter & Gamble’s gift will go toward the construction of a 45,000-square-foot, $11 million facility for the College of Business and Information Science. The building’s auditorium will bear the P&G name. But this 25-year relationship doesn’t stop there.

"When you have a partnership, you have obligations," Lafley said. "We (try) to live up to our part of the partnership, not only by recruiting at the school but by supporting Tuskegee financially and in other tangible ways. Because of our success at recruiting Tuskegee students, the University is one of a select number that receives annual departmental grants from our P&G Fund."

P&G managers, he said, support Tuskegee programs by playing key leadership roles in the business and industry cluster, serving on advisory boards, and working to enhance student leadership development.

In addition, Tuskegee will continue to benefit from P&G grants. Tuskegee has won more curriculum development grants from Procter & Gamble’s annual competition than any other institution and has "used these grants to help develop cutting edge new curriculum," Lafley said.

Fully accredited by the American Assembly for Collegiate Schools of Business, Tuskegee University's College of Business and Information Science is not just a traditional business education program, Payton said.

"It brings business together with the new science of information technology and with electronic commerce," he said. "It makes certain that technology joins the traditional disciplines so that those trained in finance, marketing, accounting, etc., have the capacity to engage in today’s business world."

Delisia Matthews, a 2000 marketing graduate of Tuskegee, works in P&G’s Global Cosmetics Division. Coming "home" to see her company give back to the University that gave so much to her was "the best feeling. I have a strong love for Tuskegee. One reason I accepted the position at Procter & Gamble was its constant recruiting efforts on campus."

Michael R. Houston, a junior mechanical engineering major, will be working in Procter & Gamble’s Food and Beverages Division in Cincinnati as a products researcher in May.

The opportunity, he said, is "awesome. P&G in the years past has invested money in the University, and this substantial donation is just the icing on the cake. I am proud to be a part of this company and this honorable institution (Tuskegee)."

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