Seven funds that honor our prominent Black alumni

Posted February 2019

In celebration of Black History Month, we present a curated list of giving opportunities that honor the legacy of some prominent Black alumni and support creating access to future Black history makers. Please note that this list is a sample of the giving opportunities that support our Black students. We are working to provide a full list on the Giving Page.

Take a look at our upcoming events honoring Black History Month and support Black-owned alumni businesses.

Howard Thurman & Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Fellowship Fund

As the Marsh Chapel dean from 1953 to 1965, Howard Thurman (Hon.’67) was the first black dean at a mostly white American university. It was also Thurman who educated Dr. King in the mahatma’s ideas of nonviolent protest. Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59) led the bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala., where he first began to attract national recognition, approximately six months after getting his Ph.D. from Boston University.

The fund provides scholarship awards to support one or more students enrolled in the Boston University School of Theology who display a strong commitment to deepening spirituality, moral leadership, and community building through their work and studies

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Rebecca Lee Crumpler MD Scholarship
In 1864, a 33-year-old woman named Rebecca Davis Lee (Crumpler) became the first Black American woman to earn a degree in medicine. The degree was awarded by the New England Female Medical College, a pioneering institution that a decade later merged with BU and formed the core of Boston University’s Aram V. Chobanian & Edward Avedisian School of Medicine.

The fund provides scholarship awards based on financial need to Chobanian & Avedisian students, with first preference for Black women and second preference for students from underrepresented communities who are Black or Hispanic/Latinx.

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Louis W. Sullivan, MD Professorship

Louis Wade Sullivan (MED’58, HON’90) is an active health policy leader, minority health advocate, author, physician, and educator. He served as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during President George H. W. Bush’s Administration.

The fund supports the salary, research, and related expenses of a faculty member at the rank of Professor, Associate Professor, or Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, with a strong preference for a faculty member from a group underrepresented in medicine.

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Ruth Batson Impact & Equity Scholarship
Ruth Batson helped push the city of Boston toward the desegregation of its public schools through leadership roles with the NAACP and Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination. She earned her master of education degree from BU in 1976.

The fund provides scholarship awards based on financial need to Wheelock College of Education & Human Development graduate students, with a preference for Black or Hispanic/Latinx students.

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Honorable Edward W. Brooke Scholarship Fund

Edward W. Brooke (LAW’48, Hon.’68) was the first popularly elected African American US senator. He maintained a close relationship with Boston University and gave a donation to name the Public Interest Law Student Journal Office in the renovated LAW tower.

The fund provides annual scholarship awards, based on merit, to one or more students enrolled at the Boston University School of Law, with a preference for students who are Massachusetts residents.

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Clara Burrill Bruce (LAW26) Scholarship
Clara Burrill Bruce (LAW’26) was the only African American woman in her class and the first woman to edit the BU Law Review—and the first African American editor-in-chief of any law review in the United States.

The fund provides scholarship awards based on financial need to School of Law students, with a preference for students from underrepresented minority backgrounds and those who were first in their families to attend college.

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Emmanuel Hewlett 1877 Award Fund

In 1877, Emanuel Hewlett became the first Black BU Law graduate and one of the first Black degree recipients of a major US law school. In 1906, he argued the first and only criminal trial at the US Supreme Court.

The fund provides annual awards to help defray the cost of books and similar materials for one or more students enrolled at the School of Law who are the most active in the Black Law Students Association. Awards are presented at the BLSA Annual Alumni Dinner and Awards Ceremony.

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