There are 41 member colleges in the United Negro College Fund. The fund was begun in 1943 by Dr. Frederick D. Patterson (of Tuskegee Institute) and 27 other college presidents with the idea that they could raise more money together than they could separately. The wisdom of this strategy was borne out in their first year, when UNCF raised three times the amount colleges had raised individually the year before.With the exception of Ohio's Wilberforce University (founded in 1856) and Atlanta's Interdenominational Theological Center (founded in 1958), the UNCF's member colleges were begun by Northern religious societies who came to the Southeast during the 35-year period after the Civil War.

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