Hennessy has pledged to give $10 million over the next 10 years to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) through its first-ever corporate HBCU graduate program to support African-Americans in leadership positions.
The program, named “Hennessy Fellows” will help prepare the next generation of African-American leaders through financial assistance, access to training and professional development opportunities and real-world application.
In 2018, nearly 9 percent of Fortune 500 board seats were held by African-American executives, according to TMCF officials.
In addition, most scholarships center on undergraduate education, making it more difficult for those who depend on scholarships and financial aid to pursue posts-grad level degrees.
“Continuing a heritage of support and celebration of the African American community that began over one hundred years ago, Hennessy is excited to partner with TMCF to help ensure more diversity in leadership roles,” said Hennessy US senior vice president Giles Woodyer. “The immediate goal of the Hennessy Fellows program is to create a pipeline of highly qualified talent over the next 10 years and help prepare these future leaders for success.”
The new program will select 10 dedicated, high-potential graduate students per year and will award them with financial assistance towards graduate level programs in addition to curated corporate development experiences.
Hennessy Fellows also provides recipients with one-on-one executive coaching, a maximum of $20,000 per academic year and an $10,000 annual stipend for other education-related expenses and access to online training forums, boot camps and networking and professional development opportunities.