Grounded in our institutional values that were instilled more than a century ago, we now turn an eye toward the next 150 years of shaping students who think, lead, and act.
The Campaign for Clark Atlanta University is our first comprehensive campaign. Centered on Lifting Lives and Leading the Way, the 10-year, ambitious campaign aims to raise $250 million to support catalytic investments in students, faculty, infrastructure, and initiatives that distinguish Clark Atlanta as an institution of choice. Since launching the campaign in September 2021, Clark Atlanta has raised $60 million, representing 24 percent of the total campaign goal.
STUDENT ACCESS & SUCCESS
Our vision of being a leading institution of higher learning that impacts society through transformative, educational experiences is within reach. Supporting our scholars is always at the center of our work, and through this campaign, we will be able to broaden and deepen the services available to every student, every year.
Philanthropic commitments to Clark Atlanta are an investment in the bright futures of Clark Atlanta University students and will help ensure we continue building on our mission of delivering education that is accessible, relevant, and transformative. With generous partners we are confident that we too can help lead the way.
At Clark Atlanta, finding a way or making a way is a community endeavor.
Representing the largest portion of the campaign, Clark Atlanta is committed to generating $100 million to fund scholarships, including endowed scholarships, for first-time, returning, transfer, and graduate students to support their financial obligations. This campaign priority also focuses on additional means of student retention: enhancing CAU’s Student Success Center and growing Career Services offerings.
Clark Atlanta strives to help students reach their extraordinary potential. Through our liberal arts curriculum, each CAU Panther can pursue their passion—whether mass media arts, social work, the sciences, business administration, or everything in between— and develop the skills they need to collaborate, problem-solve, engage the forces of global change, and enter the evolving workforce of the future.
We use education to level the playing field for our students, who are typically first-generation and come from underserved populations. In fact, 97 percent of CAU undergraduates receive financial aid, including scholarships, Pell grants, and federal loans. Unfortunately, even with financial aid, the support of their families, and employment, closing the financial gap is the #1 barrier students face in persisting in their studies and completing their degrees. CAU’s current 6-year graduation rate is 42 percent—above the national average of 35 percent for HBCUs—yet far from the bar we want to set at Clark Atlanta University. This academic year alone, above and beyond donor-funded scholarships, Clark Atlanta institutionally funded more than $5.6 million for access scholarships and gap funding needs for approximately 4,000 students.
Through this initial priority within The Campaign for Clark Atlanta University, we are committed to raising $100 million to support student access, retention, and success with the goal of helping students stay enrolled, thrive in the classroom, and become successful graduates equipped for their future beyond Clark Atlanta. While the following programs exist at CAU, we have a vision of expanding and enhancing them for all students. Funds within this priority will help:
1. Access and Retention—through increasing current and endowed scholarships in support of first-time and returning students to help close financial gaps;
2. Expand and enhance CAU’s Student Success Center which will holistically support the CAU First Year Experience and facilitate comprehensive Academic Advisement, Degree Progression Services, Writing and Tutoring Services, and our “Finish-in-Four” Program Support for all undergraduate students; and
3. Enhance Career Services through the expansion of career-readiness curriculum and resources, access to internships, and preparation for graduate studies.
When coupled together, these investments will have a significant impact on our scholars’ retention, persistence, graduation rate, and success following their time at Clark Atlanta University. Lifting the lives of students and helping them lead the way is central to our mission as an institution and is reflected as a top priority of our fundraising campaign.