N.C. A&T’s Music Program Receives $100K Gift from Tom Joyner Foundation

By Markita C. Rowe / 01/05/2024 College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Jan. 5, 2024) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s music program is hitting all the right notes as it recently received a $100,000 gift from the Tom Joyner Foundation, with a special contribution from legendary singer-songwriter and musician Stevie Wonder.

“It is an honor to receive such a generous gift from the Tom Joyner Foundation,” said John P. Henry, Ph.D., interim chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and music program director. “The funds will be dedicated to scholarships exclusively benefiting students in our music program and ensembles.”

N.C. A&T’s music program, housed in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1991 and “stands out for its commitment to excellence,” said Henry. “With three degree programs and a student-teacher ratio that ensures personalized attention, the program provides a nurturing environment for musical talent to flourish.”

The gift from the Tom Joyner Foundation stems from the N.C. A&T University Choir’s Spring concert tour in Washington, D.C. Natasha Osborne, an A&T alumna and former president of the A&T D.C. Alumni Chapter, attended the concert and informed University Choir Director Travis Alexander of potential funding opportunities through the foundation. Impressed by the choir's "fabulous" sounds, Osborne conveyed the message to Joyner’s team, leading to a virtual meeting with Alexander.

“The receipt of this award presents an opportunity for our music program to draw in and retain students,” said Alexander, who is also a music program lecturer. “Those enrolled undergo rigorous training and play a crucial role in our department. This donation provides a competitive academic incentive for our college.”

The scholarships resulting from the gift will be named the Tom Joyner Foundation/Stevie Wonder Music Program Scholarships. Wonder contributed the earnings from his recent performance on The Tom Joyner Foundation’s Fantastic Voyage, Party with a Purpose, cruise. This event showcased more than 50 live entertainment acts, seminars, daily inspiration and celebrities.

The Tom Joyner Foundation was founded in 1998 by retired radio personality Tom Joyner, who has been a strong advocate for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The foundation focuses on providing scholarships, endowments and capacity-building enhancements. Through successful fundraising and donor development initiatives, it has raised more than $69 million, positively influencing more than 32,000 students enrolled in HBCUs. The foundation also extends support through internships, matching grant assistance and career development opportunities.Top of Form

Media Contact Information: mcrowe@ncat.edu

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