In 2009, AM&N (now UAPB) alumni from the class of 1969 were celebrating their 40th class reunion and stood in solidarity to pledge funds to help their alma mater. According to Larry B. Cooper, chairman of the UAPB Foundation Fund Board and member of the class, they endeavored to raise $200,000 to benefit student scholarships. Six years later, the class exceeded their goal and raised $208,000.
“The Class of 1969 wanted to raise the bar and challenge other graduating classes to give back at a higher level,” Director of Development Dr. Margaret Martin-Hall said. “No other graduating class has given at this level in this span of time.”
$134,000 of the funds raised will be placed in the Lifeline Fund, an endowment that helps students in dire need of financial assistance. The funds will be matched dollar-for-dollar through a grant from the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Institutional Services, Strengthening Institutions, Title III, Part B, HBCU Program. They continue to work to raise money to reach their goal of $200,000 for the Lifeline Fund.
“We want to be the pioneers in having a class reunion that the university can benefit from,” Cooper said. “[You should] make fundraising a part of your reunions. So far, we have been able to do that.”
“We are ecstatic and grateful for the major contribution that the Class of 1969 has made to the university,” UAPB Chancellor Dr. Laurence B. Alexander said. “This gift will have a significant impact on the success of our students, university, community, state and nation as we continue to prepare our graduates to be among the nation’s leading professionals in the 21st century globalized workforce.”