Culminating eight weeks of a nationwide competition where students, alumni and supporters of historically black colleges and universities cast votes for their favorite school, Southwestern Christian College in Terrell has been named grand prize winner of the first Ford HBCU Drive2Greatness program.
Three runner-up schools will receive funding to support programming geared toward science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics initiatives. First place and $50,000 will be awarded to Concordia College Alabama in Selma, Ala. Second-place winner Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Ala., will receive $25,000. Located in Houston, Southern University will be awarded $15,000 as the third-place winner.
“Congratulations to Southwestern Christian College on its historic victory in the inaugural Ford HBCU Drive2Greatness contest!” stated Jennifer Edwards, Ford multicultural communications manager, in a press release.”With broad participation across our HBCU campuses, the Drive2Greatness campaign represents more than a contest, serving as an important forum to spotlight Ford’s legacy commitment and support of this vital higher education community.”
The 2017 Ford HBCU Drive2Greatness national program kicked off Labor Day weekend at the Tom Joyner Family Reunion in Orlando, Fla., where Florida A&M University was awarded $10,000 to support its STEAM initiatives. The program encouraged students, alumni and supporters to earn points for their favorite school through online voting, including via social media platforms using a Ford-dedicated hashtag for each school.
The program was also supported through a partnership with national morning show hosts Tom Joyner and Rickey Smiley – two longtime historically black colleges and universities advocates who are committed to helping African-American students go further in their studies and careers.
To illustrate what awaits the grand prize winner, Ford showcased a preview of the Ultimate Homecoming Takeover with a weeklong series of activities that included a fashion show, DJ battle, empowerment expo, a lunch and learning mentoring session, student and alumni ride-and-drives, a tailgate party and other activities on the campuses of Morehouse College and Spelman College in Atlanta last month.