PNC Foundation Awards $75,000 to Kent State

Funds will help underserved students achieve success in college

The PNC Foundation has awarded $75,000 to Kent State University to help ensure success among students who commonly face barriers in college. 

This grant aligns with PNC’s focus on addressing economic inequality among Black American and low- to moderate-income communities, and it will provide resources for students that will help them complete college and establish a strong foundation on which to build their careers.

“First-generation people of color and low- to moderate-income students often have a harder time obtaining a college degree because they lack the resources to assist them in their higher education journey,” said Joe Luckring, PNC regional president of Akron. “These funds will help provide the support students need to stay in school and successfully pursue their dreams.”

Kent State will use the funds to create supportive, equitable programming for students coming from two college access programs: LeBron James Family Foundation’s I PROMISE Program and the District of Columbia College Access Program. Under the Kent State CommUNITY Lab, which provides a network of care and resources designed to remove financial and academic barriers, the programming is devised to improve success rates for racially diverse, first-generation and low- to moderate-income students. 

“Underserved students bring to college many strengths that will support their success,” said Eboni Pringle, Ph.D., dean of University College at Kent State. “We are honored to welcome them to the Kent State community and are excited to have PNC’s collaboration to help them achieve their greatest aspirations.”

The grant underscores the focus of PNC’s $88 billion Community Benefits Plan, inclusive of a previously announced commitment of more than $1 billion to support the economic empowerment of Black Americans and low- to moderate-income communities.
Kent State University is the highest-ranked public university in northern Ohio on the Top Public Schools and Best National Universities lists by U.S. News & World Report. Kent State also holds the esteemed distinction of being one of only five institutions in Ohio to be recognized as an elite research university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. With eight campuses spanning Northeast Ohio, a College of Podiatric Medicine, a Twinsburg Academic Center and academic sites in major world cities, such as New York City, Geneva and Florence, Kent State is one of Ohio’s leading public universities and a major educational, economic and cultural resource far beyond the Northeast Ohio region it has served since 1910. Kent State is a national leader in award-winning student support services to graduate students. The student body comprises about 35,000 students, including 1,370 international students from nearly 100 countries, and the worldwide alumni family exceeds 264,000. The addition of new learning environments from the sciences to the arts and the development of exciting new academic programs characterize Kent State’s focus on transformational educational experiences. For more information about Kent State, visit

The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (, actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $500 million, multiyear initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.

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Media Contacts: 
Kent State: Leigh Greenfelder,, 330-672-7108
PNC: Craig Friedman,, 614-463-6647 (office), 614-558-1567 (mobile)

POSTED: Friday, February 25, 2022 02:31 PM
UPDATED: Friday, December 09, 2022 05:10 PM