Tag Archives: birmingham

HBCU Money™ Business Book Feature – The A.G. Gaston Motel in Birmingham, A Civil Rights Landmark


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Traveling throughout the South during the 1950s was hazardous for African Americans. There were precious few hotels and restaurants that opened their doors to minorities, and fewer still had accommodations above the bare minimum, to say nothing of the racism and violence that followed. But in Birmingham, black entrepreneur and eventual millionaire A.G. Gaston created a first-class motel and lounge for African Americans that became a symbol of pride of his community. It served as the headquarters for Birmingham’s civil rights movement and became a revolving door for famous entertainers, activists, politicians and other pillars of the national black community. Author Marie Sutton chronicles the fascinating story of the motel and how it became a refuge during a time when African Americans could find none.

The HBCU Endowment Feature – Miles College


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School Name: Miles College

Median Cost of Attendance: $21 010

Undergraduate Population: 1 668

Endowment Needed: $700 893 600

Analysis: Miles College needs approximately $700 million to allow all of its students to attend debt free annually. Miles College is located in the heart of the capital of “Civil Rights”, Alabama or Birmingham, AL for some. This historic attachment can be leveraged for fundraising if properly used among elder African Americans. With an outstanding honors college the school is producing high quality graduates who will produce a higher median income than most of African America. This should translate with the proper cultivation from administration into consistent donations going forward. They also have the unique relationship of having an HBCU community college located within Birmingham as well. Lessening their need to develop college ready students and focus funds toward higher achievement in student development which again only adds to the quality of student they will graduate. Being located in Birmingham as with anything has its pros and cons. Birmingham is an up and coming city in the United States and should provide plenty of wealth growth through its medical and banking industries. This could produce an overall stronger city but that does not always find its way into the African American community. With the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s presence it will make the competition for city resources extremely competitive. Miles College should continue to shine and stay true to its HBCU mission and it could strongly benefit from some of its peers moving away from that mission as many in African America still looking for a true sense of community focused on themselves in higher education.

As always it should be noted that endowments provide a myriad of subsidies to the university for everything from scholarship, faculty & administration salaries, research, and much more.