For Immediate Release
January 28, 2019
Contact Information

Cynetra McMillian
UNCF Communications

(BPRW) Atlanta Mayor’s Masked Ball Breaks Fundraising Goal, Raises Over $1.35 M for HBCUs and Deserving Area Students

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ inaugural Ball was a sold-out gala bringing out the Who’s Who of Atlanta; exciting performance by Bell Biv DeVoe and more than $200,000 pledged during Fund the Mission appeal, including $50,000 from music mogul Jermaine Dupri

(BPRW) Atlanta’s finest came out in full force to attend the 35th Annual UNCF Atlanta Mayor’s Masked Ball, the inaugural for Florida A & M University alumnae Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, raising over $1.35 million for UNCF member-institutions. Once again, this was a record- breaking achievement for the gala. The sold-out signature fundraising event had more than 1,300 attendees, including UNCF president Michael L. Lomax, honorary co-chairs and Ball founders Mrs. Billye Suber Aaron and Ambassador Andrew Young; corporate honorees Rodney Bullard, vice president of community affairs at Chick-fil-A, Inc.; Ted Blum, managing shareholder of Greenberg Traurig’s Atlanta office; Wendy Stewart, Bank of America Atlanta market president could not attend and sent greetings; and UNCF-member institution presidents Dr. Mary Schmidt-Campbell (Spelman College), Dr. David Thomas (Morehouse College), acting president Ms. Lucille Mauge’ (Clark Atlanta University), and also in attendance Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice of the Morehouse College School of Medicine.

“One of the unique assets of Atlanta is its extraordinary Atlanta University Center (AUC)— the largest consortium of private HBCUs in the nation,” said Dr. Lomax. “For a century and a half, the institutions of the AUC have been producing generations of talented and educated grads, who have been prepared for careers, active citizenship and leadership. UNCF awards more than $100,000 each year in scholarships to more than 600 area students, securing a better future for us all, as many of these students and the HBCUs they attend contribute significantly to the local economy. According to a study commissioned by UNCF, Georgia’s nine HBCUs contribute $1.3 billion to the total economic impact and produce 12,040 area jobs,” Dr. Lomax continued.

Ball highlights included an exciting performance by Bell Biv DeVoe (Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins and Ronnie DeVoe), a VIP Masked Award reception, silent and live auctions, elegant dining, dancing and entertainment by Clark Atlanta University Jazz Band.  A host of celebrities, dignitaries and influencers attended, including Chris Tucker, Louis Gossett Jr., Jeezy, Monica, 2Chainz and wife Kesha Ward, Ludacris, Rasheeda and Kirk Frost, Kandi and Todd Tucker, Edwin Moses, Peabo Bryson, Eva Marcille and husband Michael Sterling, Micah Stampley, Hank and Billye Suber Aaron, Ambassador Andrew and Carolyn Young, Ryan Glover, and Jasmine Burke.

An unforgettable moment during the ball was music mogul Jermaine Dupri leading the celebrity pledges for Fund the Mission and bringing the collective celebrity pledge total to $100,000.

“As we celebrate 35 years, we appreciate the contributions of our Atlanta community who always support us in a big way,” said Justine Boyd, regional director, UNCF. “With the support of our corporate sponsors, volunteers, and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in her inaugural year as host, we continue to go beyond expectations to support deserving students and our 37 UNCF-member institutions, four of which are in Atlanta.”

Founded by former mayor Andrew Young and Billye Suber Aaron, educating students has always been at the forefront of the event’s mission. With the success of the UNCF Atlanta Mayor’s Masked Ball, thousands of students have a brighter future because of the financial support they have received.

Understanding the hardships facing college students, Mrs. Aaron created the Billye Suber Aaron Legacy Scholarship, which has raised $1.2 million in scholarships since its creation.

The spectacular event was made possible by presenting sponsors Georgia Power, The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Airlines, UPS and the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.


For more information, visit  or call 404.302.8623.


About UNCF

UNCF (the 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 21 percent 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 motto, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.