The Legacy Lives On

Photographer: Bob Strong/AP Photo

“My concept of power is different from other people’s . . . I come from a background of ministry and education in which power is the ability to impact on people’s lives” (New York Times 1991).

The nation mourns the loss of William Herbert “Bill” Gray III., former Congressman, United Negro College Fund (UNCF) President and Sr. Pastor at Bright Hope Baptist church in Philadelphia, PA. Bill Gray passed away on Monday, July 1, 2013 at the age of 71 in London, England.

Gray was highly respected in all aspects of his life and his legacy will continue to make an impact on the lives of African Americans.

Gray’s impact was heavily felt by the Tom Joyner Foundation (TJF). As president of the UNCF, he was very instrumental to the evolution of TJF in our first five years of inception as an advisor and advocate for our mission of supporting students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Thanks to Bill Gray, UNCF was the very first “matching partner” for TJF. This partnership made it possible for thousands of students to receive scholarships at the HBCUs.

From the beginning, Gray understood the need for partnership to support HBCUs. As a child, he grew up on Florida A&Ms campus where he father was president.

Even though he was president of the UNCF, Bill Gray was a supporter of all HBCUs. As president, he contributed to new fund-raising records while cutting costs and expanding programs and services.

We, the Tom Joyner Foundation, send our condolences to the family and friends of William H. “Bill” Gray III. While we remain steadfast in our mission of supporting HBCUs and their students, Gray’s impact will continue to live within the Foundation and beyond.



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