Clark Atlanta University (CAU) President Ronald A. Johnson, Ph.D., recently announced the establishment of the Bernadene Coleman-Pope Endowed Book Fund for students in the mathematics and natural science disciplines. The fund was created with the gift of $50,000 from its namesake, a poet and author who resides in Culver City, California.
Although not an alumna of the institution, Coleman-Pope is a long-time supporter of the United Negro College Fund who, with this gift, desired to provide support directly to an institution and its students.
“Although poor growing up, my parents instilled the importance of education, hard work, thriftiness and investing wisely,” she said.
“This has allowed me to support causes that uplift others and assist deserving young scholars who need financial help. I chose to support Clark Atlanta because I am impressed with the institution’s paradigm shifting efforts toward mobilizing for the future, their intensified focus on integrating the arts into traditional STEM fields, in particular. I am excited and encouraged by the new energy and vibrancy emanating from CAU.”
Born in rural Louisiana, Coleman-Pope grew up in Los Angeles and studied at Loyola Marymount and California State Los Angeles. A passionate reader, she chronicled events gleaned during her youth in her first published novel, “Mama Rose”, which has sold thousands of copies. Her first collection of poems, “Listen My Children”, was succeeded by a second novel, I Leave You My Dreams. Her fourth work, a novel, is entitled “Beyond Color”. She is the mother of three sons and a grandmother to eight.
“Mrs. Coleman-Pope’s generosity is the kind of focused, personal philanthropy that has sustained and propelled HBCUs over the past century,” CAU President Ronald A. Johnson, Ph.D., said. “Her example today elevates this tradition of ‘giving forward’ and investing in the future of our community and our nation. It also represents another vote of confidence in Clark Atlanta University’s focus on becoming a global forum for IDEAS that matter.”
At Clark Atlanta University, the acronym IDEAS represents the University’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, design and systems thinking, environmental sustainability, the arts and humanities and the sciences and technology. “Certainly,“ President Johnson added, “ we see each of these important tracks illuminated in Mrs. Coleman-Pope’s largesse and we are very proud to now include her as a member of the CAU Family.”