There’s no shortage of corporations talking about the importance of supporting the Black community these days. But talk is one thing – actions are something else. For years, Wells Fargo has been taking meaningful actions to assist students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and those efforts are increasing in a major way with several initiatives aimed at helping deserving students make their college education more affordable. With donations totaling more than $32 million to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the Jackie Robinson Foundation, along with contributions to individual HBCUs over the past 11 years, Wells Fargo is committed to increasing students’ financial literacy and positively impacting their economic futures.

Wells Fargo is also giving HBCU students and alumni the chance to proudly represent their institutions through the HBCU Legends Collection, a slate of debit cards displaying the iconic brand mark of some of the most beloved historically Black colleges and universities in the country. “Our goal is to combine our human talent, our philanthropic dollars, and our nearly 90 business institutional resources, and strategically deploy them to support the needs of HBCUs and the communities they are a part of,” said Dewey Norwood, Senior Lead Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, Enterprise HBCU Strategy at Wells Fargo. “These institutions of higher education have stood the test of time and continue to produce top-tier talent that contributes to our growing economy.” Through this holistic approach, Wells Fargo is showing up for HBCUs, their students and alumni in ways that really matter.

Wells Fargo puts in the work to improve financial wellness for HBCU students

Wells Fargo’s commitments continue to have a positive financial impact on HBCUs and their students. The company has partnered with organizations dedicated to improving communities by investing in students and their futures. For example, the Empower Me Tour, which UNCF founded with Wells Fargo to inspire students to take control of their futures and career goals, begins the fall tour with three events in September, October, and November, and one in February 2023. The program has supported tens of thousands of HBCU students to date. The firm’s strategic investments in the UNCF donation also provide HBCU students with financial support, and help UNCF promote messaging about the importance of college readiness and success after graduation.

Wells Fargo isn’t stopping there. This year the firm has contributed $1 million to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Those funds were used for scholarships and for TMCF’s annual entrepreneurship/ tech competition, The Pitch, which allows student entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop their leadership, presentation, and overall business skills. Wells Fargo is also proud to be a presenting sponsor at the 22nd annual TMCF Leadership Institute: Empowered State of Mind. LI, as it is affectionately known, brings nearly 450 HBCU students to the heart of Manhattan for an immersive four-day experience, helping students secure their first post-graduation career opportunity. The company has also teamed up with Allen University, Bowie State University, Lincoln University, Miles College, Morris Brown College, and Southern University at New Orleans to provide financial assistance for students facing food insecurity, housing insecurity and overwhelming college debt. Wells Fargo hopes to expand the $5.6 million initiative to other schools serving Black students.

Students and alumni get to represent their HBCU with the Legends Collection

Wells Fargo is giving students and alumni from schools like Clark Atlanta University, Johnson C. Smith University, and Elizabeth City State University the chance to represent their HBCUs with the legends collection. The collection is offering a new set of debit cards highlighting the legacy of HBCUs and showcasing their iconic brands. The firm has 22 brand marks to date and there are plans to add more schools in the future. Paulette Jackson, Senior Vice President of National Development and Operations for UNCF, said, “Equity comes in many sizes and forms, and we are so grateful to Wells Fargo for allowing HBCU students, alumni, and fans like myself and so many at UNCF to demonstrate pride in their institutions.”

Wells Fargo has significantly promoted financial literacy and wellness at historically Black colleges and universities and encouraged leadership development with their programs and initiatives. This commitment to HBCU students is helping to remove many of the economic barriers they face when getting their education. Through its donations, scholarship funds, and engagement with HBCUs, Wells Fargo is helping to shape the Black leaders of tomorrow – part of its continued work to advance diversity, equity and inclusion

This editorial is brought to you in collaboration with Wells Fargo.