Virginia Beach, VA, March 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- To increase its impact for Virginia historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and as many students as possible, UNCF’s Hampton Roads Mayors’ Masked Ball, a signature black-tie fundraising event, will take place at 6 p.m., Saturday, March 7 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. The event features a masked reception, red carpet photo opportunities, a paddle raise, live music by students of Porte Towne Magic and dancing. Last year’s event enabled the local UNCF office in Richmond to provide more than $200,000 in scholarships last year to deserving Virginia students.

Nearly 400 guests are expected to attend the event, including seven area mayors: Mayor Robert M. “Bobby” Dyer, city of Virginia Beach; Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander, city of Norfolk; Mayor Linda T. Johnson city of Suffolk; Mayor McKinley L. Price, DDS, city of Newport News; Mayor John L. Rowe, Jr., city of Portsmouth; Mayor Donnie Tuck, city of Hampton; and Mayor Dr. Richard W. “Rick” West, city of Chesapeake.

“UNCF has strived to change the HBCU narrative across the nation,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “Events such as the Hampton Roads Mayors’ Masked Ball raise awareness of our mission and equip more students of color with the resources necessary to transition into college, graduate and ultimately expand and diversify America’s highly educated workforce.”

This year’s UNCF Masked Award honorees include Judge Jerrauld C. Jones, Presiding Judge of the Virginia Circuit Court; philanthropist Anne B. Shumadine (posthumous); Dr. Colita Nichols Fairfax, professor and Honors College Senior Faculty Fellow at Norfolk State University (NSU); and Edward L. Hamm, Jr., president and CEO of E.L. Hamm and Associates.

“It is an honor to serve the community with such a respected organization. Whether attending one of Virginia’s HBCUs such as Virginia Union University [a UNCF-member HBCU], Hampton, Norfolk State, Virginia State or Virginia University of Lynchburg universities, our goal is to empower our young people to be successful throughout their lives, ensuring better futures for us all,” said Robin Byrd, area development director, UNCF.

This year’s corporate event sponsors and local businesses that support UNCF mission include Geico, 95.7 FM, Norfolk State University, Virginia Premier and International Longshoremen’s Association. Actress Jasmine Guy and actor Darryl Bell, best known for the sitcom “A Different World,” will emcee the event. Entertainment will be provided by musical ensemble RaJazz and DJ Jullian Rivera.

For more information or to donate, please visit Follow this event on social media @UNCF #UNCF.



About UNCF

UNCF (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, 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 nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and 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 more than 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.


Mashari Grissom
United Negro College Fund, Inc. (UNCF)