LeMoyne-Owen receives $40M endowment

LeMoyne-Owen receives $40M endowment

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - LeMoyne-Owen College announced Thursday the school received a $40 million endowment from the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.

The school's interim president, Dr. Carol Johnson says this is the largest endowment in the school's history.

"There are no words to express our true gratitude to the Community Foundation for recognizing that LeMoyne-Owen means something to Memphis, Tennessee," Johnson said.

LeMoyne-Owen is the Bluff City's only Historically Black College.

Bob Fockler, President of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis says this is the gift that keeps on giving.

“Right now we will pick out about $2 million and we will pick out about $2 million every year, and every year means every year -- forever.”

Fockler says he believes it's important to invest in the black community.

"Things like systemic racism and persistence of poverty, what do we have to do to really address those issues and that's invest in the people," Fockler said.

In 2019, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found the median endowment at HBCUs was $12 million, while the median endowment size at non-HBCUs was $23 million.

In June Netflix's CEO donated $120 million to black colleges in an effort to 'reverse generations of inequity.'

Dr. Carol Johnson, Interim President for LeMoyne-Owen says this generous endowment is a major investment in the school's future.

“We see it as a catalyst for transformation in terms of our outreach to the community and in terms of attracting talented students with scholarships, in terms of sustaining talented faculty and also looking at new and innovative ways that we can make a difference the Memphis community,” Johnson said.

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.