Scholarship funds, leadership development opportunities and mentoring are the key ingredients in the Eddie Phillips Scholarship for African-American Men. Over their junior and senior years these young men gain experiences and support with completing their degrees and preparing to launch post-baccalaureate careers.

Created and coordinated by the Minnesota Private College Fund, the Eddie Phillips Scholarship for African-American Men is funded by The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota. Students are named in the spring of their sophomore year and participate over their junior and senior years.

Program participants

The 2022-24 cohort has 19 Eddie Phillips Scholars from eight participating institutions:

  • Augsburg University
  • Concordia College, Moorhead
  • Gustavus Adolphus College
  • Minneapolis College of Art & Design
  • Saint John's University
  • Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
  • St. Olaf College
  • University of St. Thomas

The initial 2015-17 cohort had three students. Both the 2017-19 and 2019-21 cohorts had 15 students each. The 2021-2023 cohort had 14 students.

What’s involved

The program participants receive significant scholarships over their junior and senior years, along with a set of valuable experiences, including advising, mentoring and leadership development opportunities. They participate in internships, attend a national conference and network with local African-American leaders.

The participants are in regular contact with Dr. Abdul Omari, who coordinates the program. They also connect frequently with a campus coordinator at their institutions as well as the other student program participants. The program is intentionally designed with a flexible framework that can focus on each student’s educational journey and complement the services and support already provided to students by campus professionals.

“Young college students are faced with numerous barriers on a given day,” Omari said. “Success requires a level of personal commitment and hard work coupled with external support. This program requires the first from scholars and assists with the second.”

About Eddie Phillips

The scholarship program honors Eddie Phillips, a successful businessman and philanthropist in the Twin Cities.

“Eddie always believed a good education was an essential ingredient for a good life,” said Archie Givens, President and CEO of Legacy Management and Development Corp. “He and his family greatly valued education and he believed it was important to advocate for young people who might be at a disadvantage such as minority students.”

Congressman Dean Phillips, co-chair of The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota, is Eddie Phillips’ son. “Our Dad was a passionate believer in the transformative power of higher education and invested much time and treasure to expand opportunity to as many as possible during his lifetime,” he said. “We are thrilled to partner with the Minnesota Private College Fund to perpetuate his legacy by supporting men of color with the creation of the Eddie Phillips Scholarship.”

The program is managed by the Minnesota Private College Fund. For more information contact Inika Raikar at [email protected].

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