Julius H. Cromwell: Give back to HBCUs

March 5, 2013 

Give back to HBCUs

Barry Saunders’ Feb. 28 column “How about your alma mater” was right on target.

All of us who graduated or attended an HBCU are well aware of the financial struggles of our institutions. Yet every year during the last week in February we spend hundreds of dollars to attend and party during the CIAA basketball tournament in Charlotte. The hundreds of dollars that alumni spend have resulted in the downtown Charlotte businesses reaping millions of dollars in profits. Yet very few of these dollars are received by the black institutions that are responsible for generating these profits.

I agree with Barry that we as HBCU alumni should help our schools by contributing our CIAA tournament dollars to our respective institutions.

Also as alumni, our giving back to our institutions has been horrendous. Barry Saunders sited a U.S. Department of Education report showing that only 8 percent of HBCU alumni contribute money to their school, while the national average is 13 percent. It is unconscionable and inconceivable that we deliberately and willingly spend hundreds of dollars during a basketball tournament rather than contribute a like amount to the school that made it possible for us to earn that money.

Julius H. Cromwell

Shaw University Alumnus Class of 1958, Raleigh

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