Duquesne to open fund for minorities

Photo courtesy of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. The 1913 Homestead Grays pose for a team photo. Cumberland Posey, the third man from the left in the second row, was the team’s captain and manager.

Photo courtesy of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. The 1913 Homestead Grays pose for a team photo. Cumberland Posey, the third man from the left in the second row, was the team’s captain and manager.

By Marie Jubert | The Duquesne Duke

Duquesne announced the creation of the $1 million Cumberland W. Posey Jr. Endowed Fund this month to provide financial support to minority students during a time of a personal crisis.

The fund will be available next academic year, according to vice president of University advancement John Plante. The fund will serve minority students who encounter financial difficulty due to an unexpected emergency while enrolled, particularly minority students who are close to graduating.

Plante said the Cumberland Fund will serve a similar function as the Third Alternative Plan, which also helps students who encounter unexpected financial difficulty. In particular, the plan aids students who are close to graduating and who would not have been able to graduate if it had not been for the fund.

“The University and donors have created an endowment to help students who have financial difficulty when here,” Plante said. “The Cumberland Fund will help minority students so that they can graduate.”

According to vice president of development and alumni relations Jim Miller, the grant will provide students with an additional scholarship that will help cover their tuition. President Charles Dougherty does not intend on spreading the fund to covering other areas such as books or room and board, Miller said.

Miller said students will not be able to apply for financial assistance through this fund by application. Recipients will be selected based on observations from personnel such as academic advisors if it is apparent that a student is experiencing an emergency that is inhibiting their ability to pay tuition.

“The first recipients of this fund will be selected next academic year, and selected students will receive the financial support starting in July 2014,” Miller said.

Plante said the fund is an endowed fund, and that “only earnings from the fund will be awarded to students. The principal will remain intact.”

The award is named in honor of Cumberland Posey, a Duquesne student who went on to play for the Homestead Grays in the Negro Baseball League. While at Duquesne, he played basketball, baseball and golf, Plante said.

In 1916, Posey became the manager of the Grays and coached the team to multiple championships. A few years later, he purchased ownership in the team. In 2006, Posey was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Nancy Boxill, Posey’s granddaughter, will be “heavily involved” in work with the fund, according to Miller. Boxill graduated from Duquesne in 1969 and went on to become the first woman elected to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners in Atlanta, where she worked for 23 years.

Boxill was pleasantly surprised when she received a letter from Dougherty notifying her of the fund, Miller said.

“The decision to create the fund in honor of Cumberland Posey was an internal decision, however Boxill will be involved with the fund moving forward,” Miller said.

What do you think? Leave us a comment!