WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) raised over $4.8 million [at the time of print] in a 'sold-out' room at its Annual Awards Gala on Monday night, in Washington, DC, with FoxNews Anchor and Political Analyst Juan Williams as Gala Host and 1,500-plus attendees – all supporting the nation's 47 publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), TMCF President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. announced today.
One of the highlights of the evening included John O. Brennan, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), accepting the TMCF National Hero Award as the audience saluted him with a five-minute standing ovation. One year after his 2013 swearing in as CIA Director, Brennan commissioned a comprehensive study, known as the Diversity in Leadership Study (DLS), to examine factors limiting diversity in senior leadership positions across the CIA. The DLS, led by Vernon Jordan, Jr., revealed cultural, management, and organizational issues that contributed to a lack of diversity in the Agency's leadership – which Brennan courageously made public.
"As we presented Director Brennan with the National Hero Award, it was obvious that the Gala attendees agreed that he was a most deserving honoree this year, especially at this time for our country," said Taylor. "This was an awesome evening for TMCF and for HBCUs. I am still amazed at all of the nation's business leaders, philanthropists, Members of Congress, and DC socialites who came out in numbers to support our premier fundraising event. We are most grateful to our Presenting Sponsor, Apple, for helping us make this evening so memorable."
Joining Brennan as honorees were Samuel R. Allen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Deere & Company; Dr. David Hall, President of the University of the Virgin Islands; Thomas A. Cole, Partner and Former Chair of the Executive Committee of Sidley Austin LLP; and Daymond John, Shark on ABC's Emmy Award winning series, Shark Tank and founder of FUBU.
Gala attendees were treated to amazing entertainment by Warner Bros. Records Recording Artist Andra Day, Epic Records Recording Artist V. Bozeman, and 14-year-old Reed LoRenzo Shannon from Broadway's "Motown: The Musical".
"The TMCF Gala is always an exciting time; but, this year was very special," said Jim Clifton, TMCF Board Chair and CEO of GALLUP. "I am elated that we moved this event to the Nation's Capital three years ago, where the spirit of Justice Marshall lives. It has proved each year to be the right thing as we continue to advocate and raise funds to support TMCF member-schools and their students."
The evening concluded with everyone in the room giving generously including a surprise $1.2 million donation from TMCF Founding Partner, MillerCoors and a $75,000 special gift from the National Hockey League/NHL and UPS.
"This year's event is proof that TMCF's Annual Awards Gala deserves being named one of DC's top 10 best charity events," Taylor continued. "Our TMCF scholars are living proof of why higher education is such a good investment; and, each year they prove to the world that TMCF is where education pays off®"
ABOUT THE THURGOOD MARSHALL COLLEGE FUND (TMCF)
TMCF is named for the U.S. Supreme Court's first African-American Justice. Established in 1987, TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending its 47 member-schools that include publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), medical schools and law schools. Through its scholarships and programs, TMCF plays a key role in preparing the leaders of tomorrow. For more information, visit us at tmcf.org.
SOURCE Thurgood Marshall College Fund