Skip Navigation
search icon Open Search Field
Feature - Ella Baker

Ella Baker Leadership Circle 

Named after distinguished Shaw alumna and civil rights leader Ella Baker '27, the Ella Baker Leadership Circle will support the innovative programs and research at Shaw University while engaging and empowering women as philanthropic leaders. 

Ella Baker Leadership Circle members are alumnae and friends of the University who pledge to contribute a minimum of $1,000 per year for three years. This will create a new, substantial pool of money to assist women. The University requests gifts to the Circle be in addition to traditional giving to Shaw University. Gifts are tax-deductible and can be made by check or credit card. There is equal input into project funding determination regardless of the gift size.

Collectively, members decide on an annual basis where to direct the donated funds within the University based on proposals received from the various departments. Allocation of funds is determined by majority preference. Special emphasis is given to opportunities that enrich women's lives within the campus community.

Matching gifts from your corporate employer count toward your total contributions for the year. If your annual gift totals $500 and your company matches your gift dollar for dollar, you will qualify for Ella Baker Leadership Circle membership. Check to see if your employer will match your donation!

Funding Priorities

  • Meets financial needs of students through Ella Baker Leadership Circle Fund Grants
  • Gives donors opportunities for personal involvement in decision making
  • Enrich the quality of life of women at Shaw University
  • Funds academic projects and opportunities that go beyond what department budgets can support


Special Memberships for University Affiliates, Students and Recent Graduates

Faculty and staff members and their spouses along with current students and recent graduates (graduated in the past five years) of the University are eligible for membership at a special rate. If this applies to you, you may join the Ella Baker Leadership Circle with a $500 annual gift.

Become a Member Back to Giving


  • Ella Baker Leadership Circle Lapel Pin
  • Membership Card
  • Discount at Bookstore
  • Luncheon with President during Commencement Week
  • Invitations and Special Access to Shaw Events
  • Pre-purchase university events (some special discounts)
  • Preferred seating at select university events  
  • Recognition in annual report and on university website

For more information please contact:
Ronald L. Gay, Director Alumni Relations & Planned Giving
Office: 919.546.8434