NEW YORK, NY (OCTOBER 5, 2011) - The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) will host its 24th Anniversary Dinner on Monday, October 24, 2011, at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers. The organization is celebrating an extraordinary history themed, Developing Minds … Delivering Dreams for the nation’s future leaders of industry, government and education. Continuing its mission in the name of civil rights activist and Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall, TMCF’s annual dinner raised $1.3 million in 2010, and this year, hopes to exceed that number by adding a live stream element to its production ( The organization has announced a distinguished roster of honorees and headline celebrity talent for this year’s gala.

Hosted by Multi-Award Winning Gospel Music Artist, Pastor Shirley Caesar, and honoring Russell Simmons, Chairman of Rush Communications with the coveted Breaking Barriers Award, the celebration will feature the participation of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Blair Underwood, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tichina Arnold, Mikki Taylor, Rockmond Dunbar, Lamman Rucker, Terrance J, Carl Lewis, and notable professionals in the fields of education, law and business.

“On this highly anticipated evening, we will celebrate individuals who have dedicated their lives to helping realize our theme of Developing Minds … Delivering Dreams. Our honorees have displayed a commitment to education and to increasing diversity through their careers. They have been invaluable to us at TMCF as we strive to ensure that our underrepresented scholars have access to a quality education and opportunities” says President and CEO of TMCF, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.

When asked about philanthropy, Pastor Shirley Caesar says, "My main objective is to make sure to focus on the needy and not the greedy." Aside from her support of TMCF, Pastor Caesar provides emergency funds, food and shelter through her charity in Durham North Carolina, Shirley Caesar Outreach Ministries, Inc.

The 2011 honorees share the common theme of hope and motivation.  The event will celebrate their achievements, recognizing each as the country’s foremost visionaries who have taken it upon themselves to use their status to impart a positive impact on the lives of our next generation of leaders.  The TMCF honorees will be recognized in five categories, including the Founders Award, Community Leadership Award, Corporate Leadership Award, Educational Leadership Award and The Breaking Barriers Award.  

Performers for this year’s gala will include Headliner and Grey Goose Rising Icon Singer/Songwriter Marsha Ambrosius, who will perform tracks from her debut top charting album, “Late Nights and Early Mornings,” New York’s own Singer/Songwriter/Humanitarian Maya Azucena, and Inspirational Vocalist, Rev. Mishael Miller who performed at the inaugural ceremony of the Maryland Governor, Martin O’Malley and made appearances on BET’s “Sunday Best.”

The 2011 Honorees are as follows: The Breaking Barriers Award: Russell Simmons, Chairman, Rush Communications; Founders Award: John Esposito, Retired President & CEO Bacardi USA, Inc., Community Leadership Award: Rollin L. Ford, Executive Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Walmart Store, Inc. Corporate Leadership Award: Jesse L. Calloway, VP & General Manager, Tobacco Processing & Manufacturing Philip Morris, USA; Educational Leadership Award: Dr. Thelma B. Thompson, Former President, University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

The Anniversary Gala is a culmination of the weekend festivities, which consists of The 11th Annual Leadership Institute Recruitment Conference & Career Fair.
  • The 11th Annual Leadership Institute Recruitment Conference & Career Fair: is the largest recruitment conference in the nation dedicated to providing leadership development and professional development training to HBCU students. The Leadership Institute brings together students attending the 47-public HBCUs with top executives to prepare students to be more competitive professionals.
  • The conference has a recruiting component that provides access for students to potential career opportunities with many of the nation’s leading corporations and government agencies
This years sponsors include: Chairman Sponsor - The Charmer Sunbelt Group; President Sponsor: Gallup and Miller Coors; Partner Sponsor: Altria, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Comcast, Costco, ING, Lowes, NBA Cares, Walmart, Wells Fargo.

For more information about the Anniversary Dinner visit:


The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), named for the U.S. Supreme Court's first African-American justice, was established in 1987. TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending our 47 member schools, which include public Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). TMCF's work is critical to guaranteeing our country a robust and diverse pipeline of talented workers and future leaders.

TMCF achieves its vision of Changing the World ... One Leader at a Time by focusing on: Scholarships, Capacity Building and Programmatic Support, and Public Policy and Advocacy. TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization and has a "Four Star" rating by Charity Navigator. For up-to-the-minute information about TMCF and its initiatives, visit: