UNCF 80th Anniversary Gala in Boston Raises More than $750K to Support HBCUs and Students


Bob Rivers, Keon Holmes and Dr. N. Anthony and Robyn Coles were recognized for their outstanding achievements

BOSTON, M.A., March 12, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — March 7 brought resounding success for students of color across New England and the United States. Thanks to the New England UNCF (United Negro College Fund) 80th Anniversary “A Mind Is…” Gala, UNCF raised more than $750,000 to further its mission of supporting historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and helping as many deserving students to get to and through college as it can.

More than 300 business and community leaders gathered to help raise funds for HBCUs and provide deserving students in New England and beyond with financial resources to help alleviate the cost of college.


The 80th anniversary event not only commemorated UNCF’s rich legacy, but also emphasized its unwavering commitment to building better futures for all. For eight decades, UNCF has served as a unifying force, ensuring students of color have access to a quality education, empowering them to become future leaders and community heroes.

“As UNCF embarks on its next chapter, UNCF will continue to extend the invitation for all to join with UNCF in walking as one on a path of unity, progress and betterment for our nation’s young people,” said Diego Aviles, vice president, Northeast Division, UNCF.

Each of the evening’s honorees exemplified the importance of transforming the future by investing in the next generation—Bob Rivers, for his commitment to providing community resources inclusive to all; Keon Holmes, for his commitment to ensuring more talented minorities have a lighted pathway to the asset management industry; and Dr. N. Anthony and Robyn Coles for their lifetime commitment to advancing Black educational and economic mobility.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by Brandon Victor Dixon, an Emmy®, Grammy® (2x) and Tony® (2x) award-nominated actor and producer. Brandon closed with a performance of Hamilton’s “The Room Where it Happens.”

Special thanks to event gold sponsors, Black Economic Alliance, Boston Global Investors (BGI), Delta Air Lines, Eastern Bank, Santander, The Kraft Group and Wellington Management; silver sponsors, Cerevel and The Baupost Group; and bronze sponsors, Cambridge Associates, CFA Society Boston, JP Morgan Chase, TJX Companies and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.

UNCF will continue its year-long 80th anniversary celebration in New England with a series of events that will continue to honor its legacy and transform the future for generations of minority students. In the fall, UNCF will host a New England Walk for Education to help empower more students to get to college and earn their degrees.

To learn more about upcoming events, please contact Arleaya Martin at [email protected]. To donate in support this important work, please visit UNCF.org/BostonGive.


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, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. While totaling only 3% of all colleges and universities, UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 15% of bachelor’s degrees, 5% of master’s degrees, 10% of doctoral degrees and 19% of all STEM degrees earned by Black students in higher education. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 50,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.

CONTACT: Arleaya Maring United Negro College Fund, Inc. (UNCF) 617.820.6304 [email protected] 

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