For Immediate Release
June 22, 2019
Contact Information

Khalilah Long, Communications Manager
1805 7th Street, NW | Washington, DC 20001

(BPRW) Press Briefing and Q&A with UNCF on New Report that Validates How HBCUs are “Punching Above Their Weight

New report examines African American college enrollment, graduation rates and impact by state

(Black PR Wire) WHAT: Media are invited to a UNCF (United Negro College Fund) conference call with experts to discuss a new report titled HBCUs: Punching Above Their Weight. This latest UNCF Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute report answers the question: “How do HBCUs compare to other institutions in their states in enrolling and graduating African American students?”

In 2016, UNCF released a landmark study, HBCUs Make America Strong: The Positive Economic Impact of Historically Black Colleges and Universities that illustrated how the economic benefits of HBCUs extend beyond the students they educate. This report is a follow-up to that research.  Punching Above Their Weight includes data from HBCUs Make America Strong to show that HBCUs are far more impactful for African American students than most realize. HBCU Philander Smith College’s president, Dr. Roderick Smothers, will discuss how he and other HBCU presidents have driven enrollment at their respective institutions over the past 3-5 years.

WHEN:  Tuesday, June 25, at 11:00 a.m. EST



  • Dr. Brian Bridges, UNCF vice president, Research and Member Engagement
  • Lodriguez Murray, UNCF vice president, Public Policy and Government Affairs
  • Dr. Barry Nagle, UNCF senior research associate, Scholarships and Programs 
  • Dr. Roderick L. Smothers, UNCF-member institution president, Philander Smith College


JOIN: Please RSVP to no later than June 24. Conference call information will be provided upon RSVP.



  • Read full report here
  • Press release attached


UNCF briefings are on the record. Journalists are encouraged to ask questions during the briefing and quote directly from research reports.


SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow the discussion on June 25 using #HBCUStrong.



About UNCF

UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at, or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.