Simmons College receives $200,000 donation to help with tuition assistance

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Millions of dollars were pledged to a historically black college in Kentucky Monday morning in an effort to ensure that its legacy continues long into the future.

Simmons College of Kentucky has a fundraising goal of $20 million. On Monday morning, a single donor pledged $4 million to the school.

The announcement came during the school's Transform Louisville Education breakfast.

"We have an endowment fund that's essentially about the same size as the neighborhood lemonade stand," said Barney Barnett, chairman of the Simmons College Board. "With that in mind, my wife and I are pledging $4 million." 

Barnett's announcement was made in front of a room of nearly 500 people, including community leaders, politicians, and the keynote speaker, Majority Whip Congressman James Clyburn.

Of the $4 million donation, $3 million will go to renovating and modernizing Simmons College's four buildings. The other $1 million will go to an endowment fund.

The school is considered an HBCU -- a Historically Black College or University -- that sits in the middle of the California neighborhood.

The president of the school says the college is not only an important part of many African American students' lives, but it also plays a huge role in west Louisville.

"This community is being revitalized because of the presence of Simmons College," said Dr. Rev. Kevin Cosby, president of Simmons College of Kentucky.

Along with keynote speaker Clyburn and Dr. Cosby, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Congressman John Yarmuth took the stage during the breakfast.

Simmons College of Kentucky is trying to reach its $20 million fundraising goal by the end of next year.

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