The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) recognized Southeast Missouri State University, Southeast alumnus Cedric the Entertainer and seven incoming students July 31 at the first inaugural UNCF St. Louis Evening Of Stars – Concert Gala in the Sheldon Concert Hall.
The event featured a benefit concert with a performance by Grammy-nominated and national recording artist LEDISI to raise public awareness and raise funds to support deserving students through UNCF.
Actor, comedian and philanthropist Cedric the Entertainer was honored by UNCF as person of the year. The Cedric the Entertainer Charitable Foundation has awarded more than $150,000 in scholarships and assisted more than 50 students in achieving a college education since its inception in 2002. He graduated from Southeast in 1987 with a degree in mass communication.
Additionally, Southeast Missouri State University was honored as the organization of the year for its work with UNCF locally and nationally. Speaking as part of the program were Southeast junior Justin Robinson, a business major from St. Louis and a recipient of a Cedric the Entertainer’s Charitable Foundation scholarship, and Renelle Theard, a Southeast graduate and former recipient of the scholarship.
The event also acknowledged the UNCF Scholars Class of 2016 that included seven students who will attend Southeast this fall. Those scholarship recipients are:
- LaKeisha Wood of St. Louis, a graduate of Metro High School
- Dominick Gillette of St. Ann, Missouri, a graduate of Pattonville High School
- Parris Nathan of Ferguson, Missouri, a graduate of McCluer High School
- Deidra Evans of St. Louis, a graduate of Ritenour High School
- Daliyah Gardner of St. Louis, a graduate of McCluer High School
- Trenden Everett of St. Louis, a graduate of Hazelwood East High School
- Chamaya Steward-Moore of St. Louis, a graduate of Clyde C. Miller Career Academy
“Southeast began our partnership with UNCF in 2009 and over 70 UNCF Scholars from multiple UNCF sponsored programs have attended the University,” said Trent Ball, associate dean of students and director of student retention Academic Support Centers at Southeast. “Our work with the Cedric The Entertainer Charitable Foundation was the first relationship we developed and continues to be the base for our UNCF Scholars.”
UNCF is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. It was founded in 1944 to help more African American students attend and graduate from college.