Michael Tullier, APR, Tuskegee University Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing
Now through the end of the year, a special group of Tuskegee University alumni are proving that youth is not a precluding factor to being generous. They are hoping to encourage their fellow young alumni to unite under the banner of inspiring 2,020 donors — or more — to give to the university before the start of 2020.
The group, commissioned by the university’s Office of Advancement, is carrying a simple message to all alumni — it’s as much about making a gift to Tuskegee during the holidays as it is the size of the gift.
“Every day at Tuskegee, one-time donations of $50 — and even less — make a difference in our students’ academic experiences,” explained Vice President for Advancement Phillip Howard. “As more and more of our alumni give, they signal how much they believe in our students’ future — and Mother Tuskegee’s as well.”
For these young alumni ambassadors — like 2014 sales and marketing graduate Shaelan Perry Williams — championing the cause of alumni participation is part of paying it forward for future generations of Tuskegee students.
“I was a merit scholar and would not have been able to attend Tuskegee without my scholarship,” recalled the former senior class president who is now clerking for Joe M. Reed & Associates in Montgomery, Alabama.
Paying it forward has also been the motivation behind 2012 accounting graduate Rob Stewart’s ongoing generosity dating back to his first days as new graduate.
“At Tuskegee, I was challenged academically, groomed as a student leader, and developed professionally through internship opportunities,” said Stewart, who resides in Birmingham and serves as the Black Belt outreach coordinator for U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell. “My collegiate years were such a worthwhile experience that I’ve committed to donating to our beloved alma mater every year to ensure her longevity.”
Jamon Pulliam, a 2015 psychology graduate who resides in the Los Angeles area, credits the example set by alumni while he was a student for inspiring his loyal support the university.
“My giving to Tuskegee began before ever walking the stage. The Pre-Alumni Council and so many alumni who served as mentors taught me the importance of giving back the way they gave back to me,” said the one-time Pre-Alumni Council president who now counsels high school students at Viewpoint School on college opportunities.
Emmalyne Kendra Head ’04 acknowledges how receiving a Nashville Tuskegee Alumni Club scholarship as a mechanical engineering student motivated her to remain involved as a young alum and a donor.
“I learned early about the direct effect of alumni giving, and I built on those relationships within the Nashville club — which planted a seed in me about the importance of being an active alum. As a result, I started making annual donations immediately after graduation, then soon became an Eminent Associate,” said Head, who continues to reside in Nashville, where she works as a process engineer.
Helping deserving students isn’t the only value that comes from giving to the university, Howard explained.
“Ranking programs like U.S. News and World Report measure alumni participation as a factor in determining our national ranking,” Howard explained. “This means that your annual gift helps our current students, but also increases the value of your own degree — even decades after you graduate.”
Alumni can give electronically in support of the “2020 Donors by 2020” campaign by visiting www.tuskegee.edu/youngalum19 or by texting SkegeeGives to 71777.
© 2019, Tuskegee University