TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) - Sunday was an evening of celebration as one Tuskegee University student was featured on the United Negro College Funds' 33rd "An Evening of Stars" television program.
Eric Marks Jr., a junior majoring in aerospace engineering at Tuskegee University, was featured on the program which aired on Black Entertainment Television (BET) 9 p.m. CST (10 p.m. EST) Sunday.
" UNCF's 'An Evening of Stars' is instrumental in raising awareness of the importance of education, UNCF scholarships and how donations can make a difference in helping students get their college degrees," Marks, who is a Gates Millennium Scholar said. "When I was approached with the honor of being featured, I was excited for the chance to show others how pivotal education really is, and how important it is to give back and serve our communities."
Along with Marks, Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon; first lady Patricia S. Rochon; and Marks' faculty mentor, Obiora N. Anekwe attended the taping in support of his academic achievement. The program was taped in August at the Pasadena Civic Center in California.
UNCF is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. It supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. "An Evening of Stars," formerly the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars, first aired in 1979. Over its 32-year history, it has raised more than $200 million for college students.
The Gates Millennium Scholars program is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Each year, scholarships are awarded to 1,000 freshmen, while scholarships for approximately 4,000 sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students are renewed. It is the nation's largest scholarship program and its most effective: Gates Millennium scholars have an average six-year graduation rate of approximately 90 percent.