Tonight should have been the opportunity of a lifetime for attendees at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s (TMCF) 25th Anniversary Awards Gala in New York City; highlighted by a performance by international renown recording artists and humanitarian Wyclef Jean.

However, due to the expected arrival of Hurricane Sandy, TMCF has been forced to cancel this special celebration. Though the ultimate consideration was for the safety of its guests, particularly the 500 young scholars representing the best and brightest talent from the nation’s public Historically Black College & Universities (HBCUs), many were left disappointed. Jean, never one to let down his fans, immediately announced plans to perform at a charity concert in New Orleans to support the ongoing rebuilding efforts of the campus of TMCF member school, Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO).

SUNO was particularly devastated by the impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and so of course our thoughts are with those who prepare for Sandy as she comes ashore,” said SUNO Chancellor Victor Ukpolo. “But we are absolutely delighted that someone of the stature of Wyclef Jean would help to bring attention to our university’s work to rebuild our physical facilities as well as our work in continuing to educate students while facing these difficulties. He will be welcomed with open arms by the SUNO family, that I can assure you.”

For his part, Wyclef Jean, adds: “To live for ourselves is to live selfishly, to live for the future of our children is the only way we can provide eternal wisdom to this generation so they can pass it to the next generation and so on. Many before us have fought, died and sacrificed their very existence so that we can be here today. Lets return the favor by providing our children with the tools that they need to not only be part of the present but also part of the future. I support TMCF and all of its efforts and I look forward to my upcoming Charity Concert at SUNO.”

Wyclef and SUNO Campus Administrators are working to identify a date for the New Orleans Concert.

“Although we are saddened by the cancellation of TMCF’s 25th Anniversary Gala due to Hurricane Sandy, nothing compares to the damage done by Hurricane Katrina and the loss to SUNO’s campus in 2005. TMCF is very pleased to be able to play a role in the rebuilding efforts of one of our member-schools, said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President & CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

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