(LOUISVILLE, KY) September 3, 2019: John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s, will be joining Dr. Kevin W. Cosby, President of Simmons College of Kentucky, Dr. Samuel Tolbert, President of the National Baptist Convention of America, International, and key national and city leaders to announce a significant financial gift and commitment to Simmons College of Kentucky. This press conference will take place on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at 2:00pm E.S.T. at Simmons College of Kentucky — Administration and Library Building (1000 South 4th Street Louisville, Kentucky 40203).

The announcement of this gift comes after months of dialogue about the importance and value of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). HBCUs constitute only 3% of the colleges and universities in America but graduate a disproportionately high number of African American students. Data shows that 75% of all black students who earn a Ph.D. attended an HBCU. HBCUs are also responsible for educating 50% of all black engineers, 85% of all black doctors, and 50% of all black public-school teachers.

The gift is part of Schnatter’s commitment to having a better impact by building better communities. Dr. Kevin Cosby says, “The founding of Simmons College in 1879 is the most significant institutional achievement in the history of Black Kentuckians. Simmons as a historically black college is poised to be an agent of transformation, not only in the black community but in our city, state, and nation. John is making and will continue to make an important difference. His support will have a profound impact on Simmons’ capacity to serve our city, state, and nation.”  “It’s been a pleasure to work with Dr. Cosby and Dr. Tolbert to learn about the important work they are doing in our community. I’m proud to support their efforts to help lift up those who want to better their own lives and the lives of those around them,” said Schnatter.    

Simmons College of Kentucky is the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s only private historically-black college and university (HBCU) and is an institution of higher education. Simmons is committed to educating students in the urban context so that they may become agents of change in society.