Through events like this, UNCF and its member institutions like Edward Waters University
empowers more students of color get to and through college 

JACKSONVILLE, FL (Feb. 7, 2022)—UNCF (United Negro College Fund) and Edward Waters University (EWU) will host the inaugural Jacksonville Mayor’s Masked Ball, a premier fundraising event, on Friday, March 18 at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. More than 500 corporate partners, educators, religious leaders and community influencers are expected to attend. Co-hosting the event are the honorable Mayor Lenny Curry and EWU President Dr. A Zachary Faison, Jr., who collaborated to create the inaugural fundraising event in support of UNCF and Jacksonville’s very own historically black college or university (HBCU), Edward Waters University. For 77 years, UNCF has strived to change the HBCU narrative across the nation by equipping more students with the resources necessary to transition into college, graduate and ultimately expand and diversify America’s highly educated workforce. 

Edward Waters University is distinctively the state of Florida’s first independent institution of higher learning as well as Florida’s first institution established for the education of African Americans. With a distinguished higher education lineage spanning over 150 years, having recently earned university status buttressed by new academic degree programs, and experiencing record enrollment increases making EWU Florida’s fastest growing HBCU, Edward Waters is primed to continue its trajectory towards becoming State of Florida’s ‘Destination institution’ of Emerging Eminence. 

“As America builds back better, HBCUs have never been more important to the nation’s economic growth. HBCUs are major engines of Black social and economic mobility and the prosperity of state and local communities. Yet, they remain systemically underfunded,” said Dr. Michael Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “Your support is needed more than ever as UNCF fights for increases in federal support for Pell Grants and other student aid and state support for our 37 member institutions and HBCUs overall. I encourage you to invest in UNCF so together we can invest in and build future generations of Black college students who will lead this nation and contribute to our economy. Events like the Jacksonville Mayor’s Masked Ball help us do just that.” Event sponsors include Sissine’s Office Supplies & the Leb Family Foundation, CSX Transportation, Florida Blue, FIS, Vystar Credit Union, Baptist Health Systems, IHeart Radio, Follett, Ellucian and many others. 

UNCF hopes to raise $500,000 via the Jacksonville Mayor’s Masked Ball. Last year $72 million was raised nationally towards scholarships and programs for UNCF-member HBCUs and other colleges and universities, including EWU. 

For more information and sponsorship opportunities, contact Paul Gloersen at 407.491.1264 or by email at [email protected] or Veronica Cohen at 904.470.8838 or by email at [email protected]. 

To learn more, please visit You can also follow this event @UNCF #UNCF #UNCFJAX on social media. 


About UNCF UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20% of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.