TSU Foundation

Letter from Board Chair, Mr. Amos-Leon' Otis 

Mr. Amos-Leon' Otis

For 50 years, the Tennessee State University Foundation has been the official organization authorized to manage the endowment and receive financial contributions for the University.  Over the years, this work has been approached with diligence and determination by the dedicated individuals who have served on the Foundation Board of Directors. A dynamic group of current Foundation Board members is committed to furthering the TSU legacy through responsible endowment stewardship and inspired annual giving.

The TSU Foundation Board is focused on six strategic priorities, identified several years ago in a series of Board planning sessions, commissioned by Dwayne Tucker ‘81, former board chair, and facilitated by board member Kevin Williams ‘83: 

  • Increasing alumni donor participation 
  • Raising more dollars annually
  • Growing the endowment
  • Enhancing fundraising capacity
  • Funding strategic student and university needs
  • Aligning university processes that impact Foundation outcomes 

As a result of our intentional focus on these strategic initiatives:

  • The percentage of our total alumni who made a gift to the foundation grew from 3% to a high of 7.1%.
  • We received a historic high of $5.75 million new dollars in a fiscal year 
  • The TSU Foundation endowment is currently valued at $63 million, placing it among the top ten HBCU endowments as of the 2020 rankings (#9).
  • We are creating a sustainable Foundation infrastructure to better serve our friends and donors through fundraising resources and technology.
  • In partnership with the TSUNAA, 17 alumni chapters across the country are driving the increase in donors and dollars by offering alumni the convenience of making their annual gift to the TSU Foundation and paying national and local dues in one, seamless transaction. 
  • We are working continuously to improve upon Foundation policies and procedures and address University processes that adversely impact Foundation accounting and auditing.  

The Foundation Board invites you to join us as we ramp up our efforts during the 2021-2022 giving year.  The pandemic and protests of the past year have redefined the urgency in meeting the TSU mandate.  Our moves to support TSU must be swift and significant.  So, over the course of the next year, let’s move together to increase the financial resiliency of TSU.  Stay tuned for unique opportunities to give voice and add value to your TSU experience and legacy through giving.

Together, we can make the TSU Foundation mandate a movement!


In greater service,

Amos-Leon' Otis

Chair , TSU Foundation Board of Directors


Promoting the University's Development and Goals

Give Now The Tennessee State University Foundation is the official charitable organization authorized to accept private contributions for Tennessee State University. Established in 1970, the mission of the Tennessee State University Foundation is to promote and support literary, scientific, educational, scholarship, research, charitable and development purposes and goals at Tennessee State University.

The foundation is designated as a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization by the Internal Revenue Service and is therefore authorized to issue tax-deductible receipts for charitable donations received to support Tennessee State University. Gift acknowledgements are mailed out promptly for all contributions received.



TSU TowerAbout the Foundation

The foundation is managed by an independent board of directors comprised of alumni, business and community leaders who have affection for Tennessee State University and are committed to its vision for the future. The responsibility of the board is to acquire, manage, and administer foundation funds to support the university.

Gifts given to the Foundation are used as the donor advises through accounts set up in the foundation. The majority of contributions are restricted for scholarships, colleges, and specific departments. Unrestricted funds provide flexibility to support the university’s most immediate needs.

The TSU Foundation adheres to FASB and IRS regulations. The foundation is audited annually by the State of Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury as a component unit of Tennessee State University.

Through the support of generous alumni and friends, TSU is able to fulfill its commitment of providing top-quality affordable education to our student.


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