Alcorn gets $4 million through investment

Published 12:00 pm Monday, June 6, 2011

Alcorn State University is $4.2 million richer, thanks to an endowment set up by the school’s former president, Dr. Walter Washington.

On May 19, the school was notified that two $500,000 endowments, both made in 1986 through the Title III Endowment Challenge Grant Program, had matured.

The endowments are worth $2.125 million and $2.157 million.

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A committee is being formed to make recommendations on how to spend the money, said Clara Stamps, vice president of marketing for ASU.

“The money will be used in such a way that will align with the overall mission and objectives of this university,” Stamps said. “The committee will make recommendations, and the president will have the final decision on what to do with the money.”

In 1984, the Endowment Challenge Grant Program was created to help foster independence and self-sufficiency among eligible institutions. Washington, who was president of the university at the time, decided to invest money into the program.

Faculty, staff and alumni of ASU pooled money for the endowment, which is now available to the school 25 years later.

Washington died in 1999, but is still remembered for his leadership during hard economic times for the university.

“I’m heartened by the insight of Dr. Walter Washington 25 years ago to invest in the future of Alcorn State University,” said university president Dr. M. Christopher Brown II. “This investment will translate into tangible benefits not just for the Alcorn State University family, but for the state of Mississippi and help direct us to our greatest potential as a premier land-grant institution of higher learning.”

Stamps agrees with Brown’s gratitude for the financial insight of Washington.

“He was keen on saving and investing,” Stamps said. “Dr. Washington was a wonderful steward of taxpayers’ dollars.”