Contact: Michael Tullier, APR, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing
Following President Lily D. McNair’s message on optimism and success at Tuskegee University’s 137th Fall Convocation on Sunday, Sept. 16, members of the Eminent Associates reinforced that message with a $2 million pledge to the university for this academic year.
Eminent Associates Chair Solomon Banks Jr. presented McNair with the first installment toward that pledge — a check totaling more than $233,000 — during the event.
“It’s always fun giving back to your mother, and here at Mother Tuskegee, we are all her children,” Banks said.
Established in 1965, members of the Eminent Associates are committed to providing the university with substantial philanthropic support through their cumulative and annual giving. The organization currently touts more than 700 members — each of whom have made at least $1,000 in lifetime gifts to the university, and who maintain their active memberships through regular contributions each year.
Eminent Associates members gather for an annual meeting each year on the Saturday prior to the annual Fall Convocation.
Following Banks’ announcement, Pre-Alumni Council President Quentoria Walton presented McNair with a $500 check representing the student organization’s fundraising efforts.
“Our current campaign — ‘I got 99 problems, but giving back ain’t one’ — provides students with a way to give back to Tuskegee.” Walton said. “We are here to plant the seed that will help our university grow.”
Aligned with UNCF’s National Pre-Alumni Council, the student leaders of Tuskegee’s Pre-Alumni Council educate their peers about becoming effective alumni through giving their time, talents and finances to support their alma mater and UNCF.
Hundreds of freshmen and new transfer students attended Sunday’s convocation, where McNair’s keynote address — which she entitled, “The Spirit of Optimism, a Recipe for Success” drew from her own personal experiences as a student, clinical psychologist and higher education leader.
“When you first step foot on campus, you should immediately begin thinking about your future; you should become optimistic about receiving an excellent education, having an overall great experience, and developing a can-do attitude,” McNair explained.
“My orientation is to be optimistic and see the best in every moment,” McNair said. “When we, and you as students, see yourselves as optimistic, you become a problem-solver. You will have higher GPAs, and you will have increased learning and academic achievements.”
For McNair’s entire address, visit https://youtu.be/AoIrXr4QN2Q.
© 2018, Tuskegee University