Tuskegee University student featured on UNCF program
TUSKEGEE, Ala. (September 23, 2011) — Eric Marks Jr., a junior majoring in aerospace engineering at Tuskegee University, will be featured on the United Negro College Fund's 33rd “An Evening of Stars” television program. The show airs on Black Entertainment Television (BET) on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. CST (10 p.m. EST).
“UNCF’s ‘An Evening of Stars’ is instrumental in raising awareness of the importance of education, UNCF scholarships and how donations can make a difference in helping students get their college degrees,” said Marks, who is a Gates Millennium Scholar. “When I was approached with the honor of being featured, I was excited for the chance to show others how pivotal education really is, and how important it is to give back and serve our communities. The essence of UNCF is seeing potential where others see hopelessness; seeing the intelligence and ambition of low-income students and providing them with a bridge to education and success.”
Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon; first lady Patricia S. Rochon; and Mark’s faculty mentor, Obiora N. Anekwe, coordinator of educational enhancement and technology, attended the taping in support of Mark’s academic achievement. The program was taped in August at the Pasadena Civic Center in California.
UNCF is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. It supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. “An Evening of Stars,” formerly the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars, first aired in 1979. Over its 32-year history, it has raised more than $200 million for college students.
The Gates Millennium Scholars program is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Each year, scholarships are awarded to 1,000 freshmen, while scholarships for approximately 4,000 sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students are renewed. It is the nation’s largest scholarship program and its most effective: Gates Millennium scholars have an average six-year graduation rate of approximately 90 percent.