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PRESS RELEASE

Monday, November 15, 2004

Jacob Dipietre
(850) 488-5394

Governor Bush Speaks at United Negro College Fund 60 Years of Educational Excellence Luncheon
Nearly $2.6 million raised to benefit Florida students

JACKSONVILLE- Governor Jeb Bush today served as the keynote speaker for the United Negro College Fund's 60 Years of Educational Excellence luncheon. The luncheon marks the end of Governor Bush's second consecutive year as the chairman of the Florida Campaign for the UNCF. Money raised through the campaign will benefit Florida's three UNCF schools, Florida's Bethune-Cookman College (BCC), Edward Waters College (EWC) and Florida Memorial College (FMC).

"For the past two years, it has been a tremendous honor for me to serve as Florida's United Negro College Fund campaign honorary chairman, " said Governor Bush. "Florida's HBCUs play a key role in the success of Florida's higher education system. I thank UNCF and the institutions it represents for providing students with a quality education and helping make the dream of attending college a reality for all students."

Governor Bush accepted UNCF's invitation to serve as the organization's Florida fundraising campaign honorary chairman in July 2002. State funding increases under Governor Bush's leadership for Florida's three colleges are as follows:

  • Florida Memorial College- Appropriations for FMC increased by 109 percent, from $1.3 million in 1998-99 to $2.7 million in 2004-05. Additional allocations of $3.5 million were distributed to FMC for financial aid in 2002-03, which includes the Bright Futures Scholarship, the Florida Resident Access Grant, the Florida Student Assistance Grant, and the Mary McCleod Bethune Scholarship programs.
  • Bethune-Cookman College- Appropriations for BCC increased by 79 percent, from $1.8 million in 1998-99 to $3.2 million in 2004-05. Additional allocations of $4.5 million were distributed to BCC for financial aid in 2002-03, which includes the Bright Futures Scholarship, the Florida Resident Access Grant, the Florida Student Assistance Grant, the Mary McCleod Bethune Scholarship, and the Children for Deceased and Disabled Veterans Scholarship.
  • Edward Waters College- Appropriations for EWC increased by 92 percent, from $1.6 million in 1998-99 to $3.0 million in 2004-05. Additional allocations of $2.4 million were distributed to EWC for financial aid in 2002-03, which includes the Bright Futures Scholarship, the Florida Resident Access Grant, the Florida Student Assistance Grant, the Mary McCleod Bethune Scholarship, and the Children for Deceased and Disabled Veterans Scholarship.

"We are extremely appreciative of Governor Bush's efforts over the last two years as the honorary Chair of UNCF's Florida campaign," said Dr. Michael Lomax, President and CEO of UNCF. "Governor Bush comes from a family who of long time supporters of UNCF. This is exemplified through his willingness to help UNCF raise money in order to increase access to higher education for deserving young men and women."

The United Negro College Fund is the nation's oldest and most successful minority higher education assistance organization. The organization is a fundraising consortium of 38 private, fully accredited, four-year historically black colleges and universities. As an educational assistance organization, UNCF has raised nearly $2 billion to administer more than 450 programs annually, assist the colleges in obtaining grants for special projects, coordinate student and faculty enrichment programs, and facilitate access to state-of-the-art technology for students and faculty. During its 60 years, UNCF has afforded the opportunity to more than 300,000 students to attend college and more than 3,000 Florida students attend UNCF institutions.

Governor Bush was joined today by Dr. Michael Lomax, President and CEO, UNCF; Mayor John Peyton of Jacksonville; Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., President, Edward Waters College; Dr. Trudie Reed, President, Bethune-Cookman College; Dr. Albert Smith, President, Florida Memorial College; and UNCF supporters.

For more information on UNCF, please visit www.uncf.org.