Business, Philanthropy and Higher Education


AT&T is conspicuous by its presence in support of the post-second­ ary education of youth especially those of diverse backgrounds. Much, though certainly not all, of this support is provided through grants to His­torically Black Colleges and Universities  (HBCUs), majority colleges and universities and to the United Negro College Fund. AT&T supports HBCUs for reasons not dissimilar to those of other donors. Before I de­scribe them, let me place our philanthropy and support for higher educa­tion in a broader context framed by the unique role played by corporate philanthropy and the special niche AT&T has tried to carve among cor­porate donors. Let me begin my remarks by providing a snapshot of phi­lanthropy within contemporary society. Then, I will describe a style of philanthropy practiced by an increasing number of corporate grantmakers. Called "strategic philanthropy," it ties corporate giving closely to business strategy. I'll present AT&T's strategic approach, then close by describing AT&T's commitment  to  post-secondary  education with a focus on our support of HBCUs.