UNCF Leader, HBCU Champion Michael L. Lomax to Address Shaw University Class of 2024

RALEIGH — United Negro College Fund (UNCF) President and CEO Michael L. Lomax will deliver the commencement speech to Shaw University’s class of 2024.

The graduation ceremony starts at 10 a.m. May 11 in the Raleigh Convention Center.  

UNCF is the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support for underrepresented students. With Lomax at the helm the past two decades, UNCF has raised more than $4 billion and helped more than 150,000 students earn college degrees and launch careers. Annually, 50,000 students make it to college through UNCF scholarships and attend its 37 member historically Black colleges and universities.

Shaw University is one of those member schools. 

During Shaw University’s inaugural HBCU Triumph Gala in December, Lomax accepted The HBCU Triumph Magnum Opus Award on behalf of UNCF. The event was a celebration of HBCU excellence, and the award distinguishing UNCF was a nod toward Lomax’s leadership. He launched UNCF’s Institute for Capacity Building to help member HBCUs become stronger, more effective and self-sustaining. 

United Negro College Fund President and CEO Michael Lomax accepts The HBCU Triumph Magnum Opus Award during the inaugural HBCU Triumph Gala in Raleigh, N.C., Dec. 1, 2023. He is joined by (left to right) Shaw University Vice President for Institutional Advancement Marilyn Baldwin Richards, Shaw University President and CEO Dr. Paulette Dillard and Miss Shaw University Janell Odom, a senior.

Lomax, who earned a Ph.D. in American and African-American literature, was the fifth president of Dillard University in New Orleans. While in the role from 1997 to 2004, student enrollment increased nearly 50%. Before that, Lomax was a faculty member at both Morehouse and Spelman colleges.

Outside of the academy, Lomax was the first African American chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, which had a $500 million annual operating budget and 5,000 employees. He oversaw the building of Georgia’s Interstate 400, co-chaired the Democratic National Convention in 1988 and helped bring the 1996 Olympic Games to Atlanta.

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