Monday, February 21, 2011

UNCF Celebrates 40th Anniversary of 'A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste'®

Via Press Release: The UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) has announced that it will mark the fortieth anniversary of "A mind is a terrible thing to waste"® at the UNCF "A Mind Is" Gala, Thursday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel at 1535 Broadway in New York. UNCF will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Y&R, and The Ad Council.

Jordan (pictured), an investment banker at Lazard, adviser to President Bill Clinton, and civil rights leader, headed UNCF when the motto was coined. Y&R contributed the creative work on the campaign of public service announcements built on the famous phrase and The Ad Council distributed the campaign across the country.

"When 'A mind is a terrible thing to waste'® made its debut, the idea that African Americans should attend college was neither familiar nor widely accepted," said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., UNCF president and CEO. "But forty years of seeing and hearing the famous phrase catalyzed a revolution in attitudes and reality, and today African Americans attend almost every college and university in the country. We are marking this anniversary, not only to celebrate how far we've come, but how far we still have to go before every American can get the education they need and the nation needs them to have."

The UNCF "A Mind Is" Gala co-chairs are UNCF board members Tamara Harris Robinson, Vice President of the Robinson Harris Foundation, and Mark Mason, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of Citi Holdings. A reception for the event will begin at 6 p.m.

The nationally-attended annual event typically attracts an audience of 1,400, including financiers, attorneys, senior executives from Fortune 100 corporations, prominent education advocates, athletes and entertainers. Well-known figures from the Washington-New York-Connecticut corridor make up the core of those who attend the Gala.

Proceeds from the Gala will be directed at helping recession-impacted seniors at UNCF member institutions. As the recession lingers, many students at UNCF schools continue to find themselves in financially vulnerable positions. Layoffs, pay cuts and the disappearance of many private student loan programs have left students owing money for tuition, text books, and dormitory rooms—bills that must be paid before they can graduate. Individuals, corporations and foundations can help thousands of students finish the fall semester by contributing to the Campaign for Emergency Student Aid. To make a donation, visit and click on Campaign for Emergency Student Aid to help keep kids in college.

Gala proceeds will support the college education of the 55,000 students who attend UNCF's 39 member historically black colleges and universities. Since its founding in 1944, UNCF has raised more than three billion dollars and helped more than 350,000 students secure college degrees. Each year, in addition to supporting its member institutions and their students, UNCF awards 10,000 scholarships and advocates for the rights of low income and minority students to receive a good education from preschool through college graduation.

For tickets or additional information regarding UNCF's "A Mind Is" Gala, please contact the UNCF Benefit Office at (212) 843-1751 or e-mail For more information about UNCF, please visit

Source: PRNewswire

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