Thousands of Morgan State University students will reap big benefits from the smallest of gifts, thanks to the launch of a new scholarship initiative at the university, the $5 Dollar Scholarship Fund. Announced by Morgan President David Wilson at the university’s annual homecoming gala last Friday night, Dr. Wilson said the initiative was a commemoration of his father’s commitment to his education, and the opportunity to provide access to other deserving students.
“It is through education that we will empower successive generations of students and prepare them to be responsible citizens and dynamic leaders in their chosen professions,” says Dr. Wilson.
Inspired by Dr. Wilson’s father, an Alabama sharecropper who gave of his entire savings to support his son’s college education, the $5 Scholarship Initiative empowers donors of all ages and economic standing to support the future success of Morgan students. At his inaugural address last July, Dr. Wilson pledged $100,000 to the fund, and Baltimore entrepreneurs Eddie and Sylvia Brown matched the commitment. The Brown’s have also pledged a capstone gift of an additional $100,000, to be given once the university receives $900,000 towards its goal.
Seeking to raise five million dollars, the initiative seeks to offset rising tuition costs, shrinking loan and federal aid opportunities, and their impact on retention and graduation rates at the university. According to the most recent survey of non-returning students, more than 41 percent of respondents cited inability to pay tuition or inadequate financial aid as prominent reasons for discontinuing their education at Morgan.
The endowed fund will provide scholarship assistance to incoming, transfer and continuing students in good academic standing, and juniors and seniors cross-registered at Morgan and another institution, or engaged in an international learning program. Morgan is ranked among the top 10 schools nationally in the production of undergraduates earning degrees in engineering, architecture and biological sciences, and leads all historically black colleges and universities in the nation in the production of Fulbright Scholars.