In 1986, Michael Jackson donated $1.5 million to UNCF to establish a scholarship endowment, The Michael Jackson Scholarship—a fund whose interest funds scholarships each year while the original gift continues to earn interest so that future students can receive scholarships. This fund has enabled over 500 students to attend college since 1986, and thanks to foresight on Jackson’s part, the original gift continues to earn interest so that future students can also receive scholarships.
In 1988 Michael was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters (Honorary Doctorate) aka The Frederick D. Patterson Award, the UNCF’s highest honor from UNCF member institution Fisk University by President Dr. Henry Ponder during the UNCF 44th anniversay dinner in New York. Michael’s close friend Quincy Jones delivered the tribute to his friend and Whitney Houston sang at the event.
President Ronald Reagan even sent greetings to him:
“Michael, I’m sorry that Nancy and I could not be with you for this very special day, but I want to congratulate you for the honors you are receiving tonight from the United Negro College Fund and the honorary degree awarded you by Fisk University. Let me be the first to call you the new Dr. “J.”-Ronald Reagan, 1988.
Michael stresses the importance of education during his acceptance speech stating at one point.
“An education opens a person’s mind to the entire world. And there is nothing more important than to make sure everyone has the opportunity for an education.” Jackson concluded his speech “I would like to say this about the United Negro College Fund. An education opens a person’s mind to the entire world, and there is nothing more important than to make sure everyone has the opportunity for an education. To want to learn, to have the capacity to learn and not to be able is a tragedy. I am honored to be associated with an evening that says this will never happen.”
Jackson’s philanthropic efforts were praised by Kellogg Company Chairman and CEO William E. LaMothe , Sony Corporation of America President and CEO Neil Vander Dussen and Barclays Bank Of New York President and CEO John Spencer. Also in 1988, Michael headlined a sold-out UNCF benefit performance at Madison Square Garden in New York and donated proceeds of $600,000 to UNCF.
Michael Jackson Scholarship for the Communication Arts
Siblings Michael and Janet Jackson created this scholarship for UNCF students majoring in Visual/ Performing Arts in addition to English, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Communication.
See more (Application period currently closed): https://scholarships.uncf.org/Program/Details/63bba4f6-e533-4a3e-b3c3-6a4fb13fda69
Also read this informative piece from All For Love Blog about Michael’s doctorate (click link): Michael Jackson, HLD…AKA “Dr. J”
Source: Links for Change for L.O.V.E/ All For Love / UNCF