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Coca-Cola Gives $7.2 Million to Morehouse, AUC Schools and the Woodruff Library

By ADD SEYMOUR JR.




(Sept. 9, 2009) -- The Coca-Cola Company, the world’s largest beverage maker, presented $6 million in scholarship funds to Morehouse and three other Atlanta University Center institutions to help students continue working towards earning their diplomas.

The gift, announced during a Sept. 9 press conference at the Robert W. Woodruff Library, will be split between Morehouse, Spelman College, the Morehouse School of Medicine and Clark Atlanta University. The scholarship money targets students who are experiencing economic hardships that often force them to leave school.

Each year at Morehouse, approximately 150 upperclassmen face that decision as they lack a few thousand dollars that could keep them in school.

“This gift from Coca-Cola really represents a fulfillment of the college dreams of so many men of Morehouse,” said President Robert M. Franklin Jr. ’75. “Its size is humbling and inspiring.”

Spelman President Beverly Tatum added: "The students and the faculty of these institutions are grateful and thankful to The Coca-Cola Company. This support will be of immense help to a number of students wanting to realize their dreams through education. Given the current difficult times, initiatives like these assume an even greater significance."

Coca-Cola gave an additional $1.2 million to the Robert W. Woodruff Library to upgrade the facility’s information technology infrastructure and enhance the ability to manage and provide access to critical archival documents, such as the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection.

"The Coca-Cola Company will always look for opportunities to make a difference in the communities where it operates, especially in our hometown," said Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola’s chairman and chief executive officer. "On behalf of our associates who call Atlanta home, we are proud to provide $7.2 million to these leading institutions of higher learning. We view this as an investment in the next generation of students who will pass through these campuses, continue their education and benefit from having Dr. King`s papers within arm`s reach."

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