FAMU Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Alumni Donate Over $500K for Scholarships

October 31, 2022
Kappa Alpha Psi Donation
FAMU Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Alumni Donate Over $500K for Scholarships

(from left) Alumnus and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity member Thomas Cunningham, IV, Vice President for University Advancement Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Alumnus and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Nelson Grillo, President Larry Robinson, and Alumnus and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Brandon Moore.

 Florida A&M University recognized the more than 200 alumni members and supporters of the Alpha Xi Gives campaign who have raised more than half a million dollars for student scholarships.

The Alpha Zi Endowment was established in 2020 by alumni of the Alpha Xi Chapter of Kappa Alpha, Inc., at FAMU. The mission of the Alpha Xi Endowment is to fund need and merit-based scholarships for FAMU students with a demonstrated record of academic achievement, leadership, and service to their communities and FAMU.

The Endowment was funded by gifts from more than 200 donors through the Alpha Xi Gives scholarship campaign, which has raised $514,4000 for FAMU and awarded $114,000 in scholarships to 32 students since launching in October 2018.  

The Alpha Xi Gives campaign continues Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.’ extensive history of achievement and service at FAMU since the Alpha Xi Chapter was established in 1933, officials said.

During a plaque recognition ceremony at the Meek-Eaton Archives on Thursday, Nelson Grillo, a 1988 School of Business and Industry graduate, said the campaign began with fellow fraternity member Brandon Moore making a challenge, followed by a conversation with Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Ph.D., vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the FAMU Foundation. 

“She challenged our competitive spirit. She threw out the names of other fraternities and sororities,” said Grillo, head of marketing analytics at MedStar Health in Baltimore, Maryland. “We are not done yet. I am going to lay down the gauntlet. My brothers, we are going to get to a million dollars. There is no greater honor than to serve our University.”

Friday-Stroud reassured the gathering that the contribution is not a one-time donation. 

“This is a movement,” she said. “It is not just about the here and now; it is about the commitment they made over time that is going to help our students and our great University.”

SirBlake Murphy SBI student SirBlake Murphy talks about how he has benefited from scholarships (Credit: Glenn Beil/ FAMU Office of Communications)

SirBlake Murphy, a first-generation business administration from Orlando, spoke about what it meant to have a full scholarship from the Alpha Xi Gives campaign. 

“At the end of August, I learned that I have $25,000 for the next three years. I won’t have any student loan debt,” Murphy said. “All the scholarships came with mentorship and internship opportunities. I am forever grateful.”