Gov. Perry Applauds UNCF's Commitment to Higher Education
Speaks at Annual Governor's Fundraising Luncheon
Gov. Rick Perry today applauded the United Negro College Fund's (UNCF) ongoing commitment to higher education participation at the fund's Annual Governor's Luncheon.
"UNCF has helped more than 2,000 Texans earn undergraduate and graduate degrees, giving them the tools to make a better life, get quality jobs and take care of their families," Gov. Perry said. "I am proud to take part in celebrating UNCF's vision, saluting their remarkable history of changed lives and supporting their efforts to improve education in our state and across our nation."
The governor praised UNCF for increasing access to financial aid and tackling issues to improve enrollment and retention, academic programming and faculty development. As governor, Perry has made improving higher education participation a top priority by setting college readiness standards for high school seniors, strengthening graduating curriculum and improving access to financial aid. He will continue to pursue these objectives as Texas approaches the upcoming legislative session.
"I believe that an educated Texan is an unlimited Texan," Perry told the group. "I want Texas children to know this simple truth: We don't care where you come from; we care where you are going."
Perry noted that UNCF institutions in Texas educate approximately 35 percent of African American attorneys, 50 percent of African American teachers and 50 percent of our African American physicians.
"At these schools, these valuable young people can seek truth, grow in their understanding of their true worth and launch themselves into meaningful careers," Perry added.
The governor was joined by UNCF President Michael Lomax, mayors of Dallas, Fort Worth and Garland, and several state officials at the event, which raised funds for Texas' five UNCF member institutions: Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Wiley College in Marshall, Texas College in Tyler and Paul Quinn College in Dallas. Currently, nearly 4,000 Texans are educated in the state's five UNCF member schools.
UNCF administers more than 400 programs annually, including scholarship, internship, fellowship and mentoring programs, which help close the educational achievement gap for African Americans by helping more than 65,000 students attend college and graduate each year at more than 900 institutions across the country.
UNCF also provides operating funds for its 39 member colleges, allowing them to offer quality, state of the art academic programs while maintaining tuition rates at less than half the average of other private colleges. The Texas UNCF Governor's luncheons have raised more than $500,000 for Texas member institutions and higher education scholarships to date.