ATLANTA — Beverage leader Diageo North America has donated $1 million to Morehouse College, the nation’s only historically Black liberal arts college dedicated to educating men, to create a permanent endowment fund that will provide scholarships for talented students. The gift is part of a national initiative by Diageo to establish endowed scholarships at 25 HBCUs and will help Morehouse move additional highly-prepared graduates into the ranks of corporate leaders, innovators, and decision-makers.
Morehouse College President David A. Thomas said Diageo’s generous support for Morehouse and the HBCU community is an important investment in fostering diversity in higher education and in opening doors of opportunity. Diageo has also committed to building a national internship platform that will create a pipeline to help talented HBCU students enter the consumer goods industry, a sector that is working to increase minority representation throughout its ranks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Black employees represent only 11 percent of beverage manufacturing workers. Eighty-five percent of employees in the industry are white.
As the national epicenter for thought leadership on civil rights, Morehouse is committed to helping the nation address racial inequities, which have created disparities in income, employment, health care, housing, and educational opportunities for people of African descent. Morehouse has a nationally acclaimed business program and is recognized for preparing men of color for managerial and executive leadership roles. The College is a top feeder school for Black men entering top-ranked MBA programs.
“Morehouse College develops men who are academically excellent and committed to leadership and service. This gift from Diageo will help more deserving students not only be able to graduate with a Morehouse degree, but also be equipped to lead and effect change in the national fight against systemic racism and inequities,” said David A. Thomas, president of Morehouse College. “We appreciate this generous donation from Diageo.”
The HBCU scholarship initiative was created with Diageo North America’s African Heritage Business Resource Group (A.H.E.A.D.) to focus on the priorities, actions, and partnerships that could make the most meaningful impact in the Black community. Twenty-four other HBCUs, including fellow Atlanta University Center Consortium member Clark Atlanta University, also received scholarship gifts from Diageo, the beverage leader announced Wednesday.
“We are proud to partner with these esteemed institutions and to do our part to help shape a more equitable society by providing opportunities for future leaders,” said Debra Crew, president of Diageo North America. “This initiative further deepens Diageo’s commitment to making a long term and sustainable impact on underrepresented communities.”
A Morehouse education is transformative in economic, social, and professional mobility. The College educates 2,100 students annually, 60 percent of whom come from families with household incomes of $40,000 or less. The scholarship will help to make a Morehouse education more affordable for students.
“This gift to Morehouse College will provide transformational opportunities for our students to pursue excellence as leaders, scholars, and future game-changers in their fields,” said Monique Dozier, vice president of the Office of Institutional Advancement. “We look forward to this partnership with Diageo and appreciate their investment.”
About Diageo North America
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan's whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodka, Casamigos and Don Julio tequilas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Tanqueray and Guinness.
Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE: DGE) and their products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world.
For more information about Diageo, their people, brands, and performance, visit www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo's global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice. Follow at Twitter and Instagram for news and information about Diageo North America: @Diageo_NA.
About Morehouse College
Morehouse College is the only historically Black college dedicated to educating men. Founded in 1867, Morehouse is a private, liberal arts institution and the nation’s top producer of Black men who go on to receive doctorates and the top producer of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs. The College was named to the list of U.S. institutions that produced the most Fulbright Scholars in 2019-2020. As the epicenter for thought leadership on civil rights, Morehouse is committed to helping the nation address the inequities caused by institutional racism, which has created social and economic disparities for people of African descent. Prominent Morehouse alumni include: Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General; Shelton “Spike” Lee, Academy Award-winning American filmmaker; Maynard H. Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta; Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; Louis W. Sullivan, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services; Bakari Sellers, attorney and CNN political analyst; Randall Woodfin, elected as the youngest mayor of Birmingham in 120 years; and Raphael Warnock, Senator from Georgia. For more information, visit: https://morehouse.edu.