In front of a packed house at Tuesday's Memphis City Council meeting, council members approved giving financially strapped LeMoyne-Owen college $3 million over the next three years.
Dozens packed the chamber at Tuesday's meeting, most speaking on behalf of thehistorically black and financially strapped college. During the meeting, distinguished city leaders and church leaders spoke out about the need to help LeMoyne-Owen during its critical fundraising campaign, keeping it afloat without losing its accreditation.
"Make sure that LeMoyne-Owen lives as long as possible to help young students like it did me," said James Netters, alumni and former MLGW Board President.
"There's not a greater investment with a greater return then that of investing in the education of our young people," said Rev. Leonard Dawson.
"A mind is a terrible thing to waste. My mind is what it is because of a historic black institution," said Dr. Fred Loftman, an ex LeMoyne Owen board member.
Council member Dedrick Brittenum, Jr. noted the other schools have received help in the past.
"Over the last 10 years this council has approved the following sums for local universities: Rhodes College- $270, 000, Tennessee Technology- $250,000, University of Memphis- $930,000."
Only one person spoke out against the proposed grant. "Article two, section 29 of the constitution specifically addresses this matter... the Tennessee Supreme Court that says such a grant of money is barred," Memphian Howard Entman said as he addressed the council.
Council members Jack Sammons and Scott McCormick were the only two to vote against the financial aid.