The Tom Joyner Foundation has named Florida A&M University (FAMU) it’s January 2014 “School of the Month.”
The “School of the Month” recognition will make FAMU the first of 11 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) slated to receive scholarship dollars for its students through the foundation’s Hercules Scholarship Program in 2014.
In addition to the Hercules Scholarship, FAMU has also been selected to partner with the Tom Joyner Foundation in a fundraising campaign, which kicks off on the first day of the New Year. During the campaign, 100 percent of funds raised by the foundation on behalf of FAMU will be sent directly to the university. Assistance from the foundation will also be available throughout the year to support the university’s initiatives to ensure its sustainability.
“We’re proud to have Florida A&M as our January ‘School of the Month,’” said Tom Joyner, founder and chairman of the Tom Joyner Foundation. “FAMU has a wonderful legacy and a rich tradition of preparing students to become our future teachers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, politicians and business leaders.”
Each Thursday in January, during the airing of his nationally syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” Joyner will award a $1,500 Hercules Scholarship to a male FAMU student, who exhibits leadership skills, is active in the community and maintains at least a 3.5 GPA. Additionally, the scholarship recipient must plan to embark in a career that will positively impact the quality of life for others.
The Hercules Scholarship is designed to assist male students with offsetting college expenses and to encourage them to complete their college education. The scholarship can be utilized for tuition, books and on-campus living.
The Hercules Scholarship has significant meaning on FAMU’s campus, as its namesake, the late Hercules Joyner, who is Tom Joyner’s father, graduated from the former Florida A&M College (FAMC) with a Bachelors of Science in chemistry. From FAMC, he went on to participate in the Tuskegee Airmen training program, embarked on a career in accounting, and served the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Tuskegee, Ala. for most of his career.
“We look forward to our students receiving the Hercules Scholarship to continue his legacy of ‘excellence with caring,’” said Thomas Haynes, FAMU’s vice president for university advancement.
The university will release the names of the five scholarship recipients in January.
Corresponding with the announcement of the scholarship recipients on his radio show, Joyner will also use the month of January to promote FAMU to his listening and online audiences and challenge them, along with FAMU alumni, supporters and corporate sponsors, to log on to the foundation’s website to donate an amount of their choice to the university. The foundation will also make available offline donation options, such as checks and payroll deductions for specified government employees. Donations toward the campaign will be accepted towards the campaign through December 2014.
The Tom Joyner Foundation/School of the Month campaign will coincide with the university’s National Alumni Challenge Campaign. According to Haynes, the Alumni Challenge will also kick-off in January and is designed to encourage alumni to increase their charitable efforts toward the university, with the goal of making FAMU the No.1 HBCU in the nation in regards to alumni giving. Haynes is hoping to reach a goal of at least 25,000 donors from around the country in 2014.
According to Haynes, working with the Tom Joyner Foundation to increase scholarship dollars and alumni giving helps to give the university an extended reach.
“The decline in state and federal resources have created an imperative for the university to raise more scholarship support,” Haynes said. “It is important to tap every network possible, and Tom Joyner has been a proven partner in helping to raise awareness and support for FAMU.”
In 2008, FAMU also held the honor of being named a “School of the Month” by the foundation. During that year, alumni and supporters rallied together and raised more than one million dollars, breaking the record for the most money raised by an HBCU under the School of the Month Program.
Founded in 1998, the Tom Joyner Foundation has raised more than $60 million to help keep students enrolled in black colleges and universities and has directly assisted more than 29,000 students and 100 HBCUs.
For more information on the School of the Month/Hercules Scholarship Programs or to get a head start on your donation, visit: http://tomjoynerfoundation.org/hbcu-news/ or contact the FAMU Office of University Advancement at (850) 599-3860.
Photo: Tom Joyner, radio personality and founder and chairman of the Tom Joyner Foundation.