Council OKs $3 million gift for private college

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - The City Council has approved a $3 million gift for financially strapped LeMoyne-Owen College, a small private school that played a major role in educating black residents of Memphis during the days of racial segregation.

The council voted 9-2 Tuesday to give LeMoyne-Owen $1 million a year for three years. The historically black school needs up to $4 million by the end of the month to pay debts and avoid losing its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Robert Lipscomb, the city's chief financial officer and chairman of the school's board of trustees, said the council's commitment would help encourage potential donors to give money.

"Everybody was looking to see what the city was going to do," said Lipscomb, who attended a council meeting with a crowd of other LeMoyne-Owen supporters.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)