Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FOUR CHEERS; A Rare Donation

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FOUR CHEERS; A Rare Donation

Article excerpt

When is the last time a big-time donation was given for a new roof? Or to fix the plumbing?

That is just how dire the financial situation is at Edward Waters College, and how special the $1 million donation was by CSX chief executive Michael Ward.

Ward's donation was revealed last weekend during the inauguation festivities for Claudette Williams.

She is a veteran of financial crises in historically black universities, and has been using her expertise to rebuild the college's credibility in the community and restore its bank account.

All the grand plans in the world go nowhere without finances. As a private, religious college, Edward Waters has a small endowment of just $2 million when it really should be closer to $140 million, Williams said.

Thus the donation by Ward is hoped to inspire other donors to step forward.

People want to be connected to successes. While the needs are great, people also want assurances that their donations will be used wisely.

This is a new day for the college. It's important that Jacksonville educate the students served by Edward Waters, who are largely African-American and mostly male.

Ward is commended for his rare donation. And Williams is moving the college in the right direction.

SUPPORTING RENEWAL

LISC provides the expertise to help community groups redevelop core-city neighborhoods.

Since its formation in 1999, LISC Jacksonville has helped leverage nearly $70 million in investment in the urban core, including the construction of 150 quality, affordable single-family homes, 650 decent, affordable rental units and the renovation of six community football fields.

There are also plans for commercial redevelopment to bring essential goods and services back to these neighborhoods.

Those efforts have been helped now by a $10,000 donation by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. …

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