BlueCross BlueShield has donated $8 million to five South Carolina area historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The funds will be distributed in the following ways:
- $3 million for tuition-based scholarships, stipends and living expenses for financially struggling students
- $2 million for IT network security, laptops, and internet service for virtual learning
- $1 million for eLearning platforms, training, and certification for faculty
- $400,000 for Benedict College’s nursing and counseling services
The five colleges that received donations include Allen University, Benedict College, Claflin University, Morris College and Voorhees College. South Carolina has a total of eight HBCUs making them one of five states with at least eight HBCUs statewide (Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas).
More than 6,300 students and faculty are expected to benefit from these donations.
David Pankau, President, and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, in response to the donations made to local HBCUs,
“It has been well reported that the coronavirus revealed our minority communities encounter profound disparities in many ways. At BlueCross, we believe healthy communities are defined not only by access to health care services, but also by the fostering of opportunity that comes from education, employment and the potential for an improved quality of life for everyone.”
BlueCross BlueShield is one of many donors in the past two months to make donations to historically black colleges and universities. Lemoyne-Owen College received a $40 million donation from the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, the largest in the school’s 158-year history.
In July, Mackenzie Scott (ex-wife of Jeff Bezos) made eight-figure donations to six HBCUs, including $40 million to Howard University, $30 million to Hampton University, $20 million to Tuskegee University, Xavier University of Louisiana and Morehouse College, and an undisclosed sum to Spelman College.
That same month, Dominion Energy (a power and energy company based in Virginia) announced a plan to donate $25 million to 11 HBCUs over the next six years. Schools to receive donations include Hampton University, Norfolk State University, Virginia Union University, Virginia State University, Allen University, Benedict College, Claflin University, South Carolina State University, Central State University, Wilberforce University, and North Carolina A&T State University. The plan also includes a $10 million scholarship fund to African American and underrepresented minority students across the company’s service territory.
In June, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and Patty Quillin donated $40 million to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), an organization that funds scholarships for black students attending private HBCUs. Hastings and Quillin also donated $40 million to Spelman College and Morehouse College.
— BCBSSC (@bcbssc) August 25, 2020