Coca-Cola UNITED and Alabama State University have a longstanding relationship, and on September 5 we were able to honor this relationship. At the 2019 President’s Gala, Coca-Cola UNITED presented President Dr. Quinton Ross a check for $120,000 to support scholarships at ASU. The event was held at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa at the Convention Center.
The Renaissance Montgomery Hotel is a valued customer of the Montgomery Coca-Cola Bottling Company, so it was a special honor to attend an event at their venue. Additionally, ASU is a Coca-Cola campus and a participant in our Pay It Forward internship program, so their students, faculty, and campus hold a special place in our hearts!
Alabama State University has a long history of perseverance, progress, and promise. Its history dates back 148 years. The ASU movement began as a means to establish a school for black Alabamians—the Civil War not only resulted in the end of slavery, but also in the opportunity for African-Americans to seek higher education. ASU became the global leader it is today because of nine freed slaves from Marion, Alabama—fondly remembered as the “Marion Nine.” These men sought to build a school for their people, who were previously denied the right to education. Those nine men were Joey P. Pinch, Thomas Speed, Nicholas Dale, James Childs, Thomas Lee, John Freeman, Nathan Levert, David Harris, and Alexander H. Curtis.
ASU began as the Lincoln School on November 13, 1867 with 113 students. In 1873, it became the nation’s first state-sponsored liberal arts institution for the higher education of African-Americans, beginning ASU’s proud history as a “Teacher’s College.”