University of Pittsburgh
October 19, 2009

Pitt's African American Alumni Council Launches $3 Million Scholarship Campaign

Launch part of AAAC Homecoming festivities commemorating 40 years of African American pride, progress, and partnership with the University
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-On Oct. 23, the University of Pittsburgh will officially launch the public phase of the African American Alumni Council's (AAAC) Scholarship Campaign, a fundraising effort devoted to providing financial support to students at the University. The launch of this $3 million campaign will be celebrated during the AAAC's homecoming activities this Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Oct. 22-25. This year's AAAC homecoming celebration, Blue, Gold, & Black: The Colors of Celebration, will commemorate 40 years of African American pride, progress, and partnership with the University.

With more than $890,000 raised to date from 644 donors, this campaign signifies the strides the AAAC has made in promoting and supporting diversity initiatives at Pitt. This fundraising effort will help Pitt to continue encouraging student diversity in new and bold ways.

"The AAAC's Scholarship Campaign highlights the significant role that scholarships play in attracting, supporting, and retaining talented, diverse, and highly qualified students to the University of Pittsburgh," said Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. "We wholeheartedly support and are immensely grateful to the AAAC; its president, Linda Wharton-Boyd; and scholarship campaign chair Douglas Browning for their leadership of this effort that will play a major role in advancing one of our University's very highest priorities."

In addition to raising funds to support diversity initiatives within various departments at the University, the AAAC has established three giving priorities: the Bebe Moore Campbell Scholarship Fund, the Jack L. Daniel Endowed Book Award, and the AAAC Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Late Pitt alumnus Bebe Moore Campbell (EDUC '71) was a nationally acclaimed best-selling author and Pitt trustee; Distinguished Service Professor of Communication Jack L. Daniel, who will participate in the AAAC celebration, is a Pitt alumnus (A&S '63, G'65, G'68), Pitt's former vice provost for undergraduate studies and dean of students, and a Pitt student leader during the 1960s.

The AAAC campaign is led by Linda Wharton-Boyd (A&S '72, '75G, '79G), who has served as the president of the AAAC since 2005. She is principal of the Wharton Group national and international communications consulting firm and chief of staff and chief communications officer for D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown. The campaign is chaired by Douglas Browning (A&S '72), who heads the AAAC's campaign steering committee. Browning is a senior vice president and general counsel at Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services Inc., where he helps governments and multinational businesses modernize their customs and security procedures. Named a Pitt Legacy Laureate in 2007, Browning also serves as a director at large for the Pitt Alumni Association.

"This campaign will provide many students with the resources needed to acquire an advanced education at one of the finest universities in America," said Wharton-Boyd. "I am proud of this partnership with the University, and I encourage all of our alumni and friends to support this effort."

"As we begin the official launch of the AAAC Scholarship Campaign, I want to take a moment to thank the members of the Steering Committee for their hard work in getting us to this point and express how privileged I feel to have the honor of chairing this effort and working with such an extraordinarily dedicated group of Pitt alumni," said Browning. "They have answered the call and are helping Pitt to provide scholarship support that will enable more students to achieve their academic goals and attend this great University."

The AAAC campaign is part of the University's Building Our Future Together capital campaign, the most successful fundraising campaign in the history of both Pitt and Western Pennsylvania. To date, the campaign has raised more than $1.4 billion in support.

For more information about supporting the AAAC or to make a gift online, visit or call 1-800-817-8943. For registration information and a detailed schedule of events for the AAAC Sankofa Homecoming Weekend, visit