Jeffrey J. Brown, Kay Coles James, and Dr. Harold L. Martin to be honored

Washington, DC (September 24, 2019)– Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), Gala Chairman Charles Merinoff, announced today, the names of three distinguished individuals who will be honored for their exemplary corporate, education and legal careers at the 32nd Anniversary Awards Gala on Saturday, October 19, 2019, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. 

TMCF Awards Gala honorees are not only excellent industry leaders but, they share in the organization’s mission of helping to identify talent to nurture, develop and invest in becoming the next generation of C-Suite leaders, entrepreneurs, education innovators and champions for justice like TMCF namesake, Justice Thurgood Marshall.  


Jeffrey J. Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Ally Financial, Inc.

CEO of the Year Award

Kay Coles James, President, The Heritage Foundation, Founder, The Gloucester Institute 

HBCU Alumni Leadership Award 

Dr. Harold L. Martin, Sr., Chancellor, North Carolina A&T State University

Educational Leadership Award 

“A commitment to diversity and inclusion at Ally is not only one of the pillars of our culture, it’s essential to our success as a company,” said Ally Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey J. Brown. “Our relationship with the TMCF team through the Moguls in the Making program as well as recruitment activities has been nothing short of phenomenal, and we are pleased to help further their mission as a source for top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.”

The guest list for the 32nd Anniversary Awards Gala, presented by Ally Financial Inc., includes a who’s who of DC’s top government, corporate, philanthropic, higher education and HBCU leaders. Each year, TMCF hosts over 1,600 attendees, including more than 400 HBCU students and 1,200 guests. This black-tie event has become one of the largest nonpolitical events in our nation’s capital and all proceeds from the Gala support scholarships and programs for nearly 300,000 students at TMCF member-schools. 

“As a graduate of an HBCU, I know the vital role they play in America’s educational system. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund changes lives,” said Kay Coles James, President, The Heritage Foundation, Founder, The Gloucester Institute. “Providing opportunities for more young people to get a quality college education helps them determine their life’s path and creates a better future for their families, their communities, and the entire nation. I am truly honored to receive this award from an organization that I hold in such high esteem.”

TMCF President & CEO, Harry L. Williams said of the 2019 honorees, “We are proud to honor these dynamic individuals who are leaders who understand the importance of using their influential platforms for good. As the head of Ally, JB leads by example as seen through the fantastic Moguls in the Making program for HBCU students. Harold raises the bar through his visionary leadership and innovative ideas at the helm of the largest publicly-supported HBCU in the nation. And from her time at Hampton University to her distinguished public service career, founding the Gloucester Institute, and now leading the Heritage Foundation, Kay is HBCU excellence.  

“The work of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund has never been more important for the institutions, the hundreds of thousands of students and the communities and businesses across America that its fine work helps to support,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin. “I am both humbled and more honored than I can express to be recognized with TMCF’s Educational Leader Award. As I enter the second decade of my leadership of North Carolina A&T, this is something that will inspire, and energize me for years to come.”

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Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions, enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending black colleges and universities. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the K-12 and higher education space. The organization is also the source of top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.

TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit: