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Under the leadership and Presidency of Robben Fleming, PhD., the Board of Regents of The University of Michigan approved a resolution to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who devoted his life to fight for equal opportunity and social justice to establish the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Fund.

The scholarship fund was initiated in April 1968 to assist in the education of disadvantaged students at the University of Michigan with a startup sum of $10,000 from the university’s undergrad funds. This fund operated as an emergency fund from 1968-1982, through donations from the University of Michigan, alumni and friends.

The Reunion of Black Graduates was formed in 1976 through the leadership of Reggie Armstrong (’71 & ‘74) and Richard Carter (’70 & ’81). The principal mission of the Reunion for Black Graduates was their commitment to sustaining the growth, enrollment, matriculation, graduation and legacy of African American students at the University of Michigan. To accomplish this mission, the Reunion of Black Graduates executed the operation, administration, funding and awarding the scholarships of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Fund.

In July of 1981, under the leadership of The Reunion for Black Graduates and The University of Michigan Alumni Association, The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Fund was designated as an endowed scholarship. From its inception, the fund provided scholarships to deserving African American students enrolled at the University of Michigan. In 1994, the Reunion of Black Graduates became the African American Alumni Council. In 2014 the University of Michigan Black Alumni (UMBA) transferred complete authority for the administration and responsibility of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Endowment Scholarship to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Committee.

The purpose of this scholarship remains the same today as it has been in the past: To provide financial assistance along with a supportive community to attract and retain the most outstanding underrepresented minority students to the University of Michigan.