ArkLaTex university gets major donation to bring more students of color to campus

School lockers are pictured Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Mankato, Minn.
School lockers are pictured Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Mankato, Minn.(KEYC)
Updated: Apr. 20, 2021 at 5:09 PM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) - An ArkLaTex university received a major donation that officials say they hope will increase the number of students of color on their campus.

Some students in the CROWN and PATH programs at Texas A&M University-Texarkana (TAMUT) were glad to know the program will continue. The CROWN and PATH programs are designed to provide guidance and support for students of color at the university. TAMUT was given $249,000 by the Greater Texas Foundation to continue the programs.

“What we try to do is help our students find a sense of belonging on our campus and feel part of the campus community and the Texarkana community as well,” said Liz Patterson, assistance vice president of student success at TAMUT.

Patterson says the donation will also provide increased mentorship for students involved.

“... and provide our students with more opportunity for education and leadership and career development,” Patterson said.

The CROWN and PATH programs began just over two years ago serving 50 students. Phillip Barns of Texarkana and Medina Muhammad of Houston have been with the program since its beginning.

“I hope to see not only more mentor positions, but to allow more women of color to obtain a degree from the A&M system,” Muhammad, a student, said.

“Not only has it allowed me to socialize with people of color, but as well put forth knowledge that will help me post-graduate,” Barnes, another student, said.

University leaders say the $249,000 grant should keep the programs going for the next three years.

“We are grateful for that funding because that is going to allow us to enhance our services,” Patterson said.

In a written statement, a spokesperson for the Greater Texas Foundation said the CROWN and PATH programs are examples of their commitment to support Texas students’ postsecondary success.

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