FAMU 1 of 4 schools selected for LaSalle scholarships

FAMU students benefit from the $500,000 LaSalle Real Estate Scholarship. Photo courtesy FAMU Forward

Chicago-based LaSalle Investment Management announced Tuesday the founding of the LaSalle Real Estate Scholarship for Blacks and Latinos. Florida A&M University stands as one of the four schools including two other HBCUs to share $500,000 from the new scholarship program.

LaSalle Real Estate Scholarship is a five-year program that provides $100,000 per year, offering the opportunity to enrich rising sophomores’ college education by providing $10,000. However, this scholarship fund’s primary objective is to encourage the recipients to apply for an internship at LaSalle and “the express objective of being well-prepared to seek full-time employment in the real estate sector upon graduation.”

“When we looked for our initial partner schools, we knew we wanted there to be a mix of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other institutions that cross a wide range of geographies,” Alfreda Delle, deputy portfolio manager with LaSalle, said in an email. “I personally know people who attended FAMU and who speak highly of the school. Its history as a top-tier HBCU combined with its student body makeup made it an excellent choice for this scholarship.”

Delle added: “We feel providing Black and Latinx students the opportunity to gain exposure to real estate and financial services professions at a young age is critical to expanding their career opportunities. These professions have historically not been seen as accessible to these populations, and with this scholarship, we’re putting the institutional strength and resources of LaSalle behind an effort to change that.”

Spelman, Morehouse and Roosevelt University are the other three schools that acquired shares in this culturally diverse scholarship fund. LaSalle provided this opportunity specifically to HBCUs because the firm aspires to be at the forefront of bringing more diversity to the real estate industry.

The requirements for receiving a LaSalle scholarship — in addition to being a rising sophomore — include obtaining a 3.0 GPA and attending four meetings, either in-person or virtually. Additionally, FAMU students must be enrolled in a real estate course or be a member of FAMU’s Real Estate and Leadership club to be eligible for the program.

FAMU students. Photo courtesy famu.edu

FAMU scholarship recipients will be selected later on this fall semester and will be awarded with the scholarship money at the beginning of the spring term.

“The LaSalle Real Estate scholarship will not only benefit students but the university as a whole, by increasing the number of African Americans and Hispanics in the real estate industry,” said Shawnta Friday-Stroud, vice president of University Advancement and dean of the School of Business and Industry. “I want the student body’s overall takeaway to be an increased interest in the commercial real estate industry as a professional career option because this LaSalle Real Estate Scholarship opportunity is all about exposure and access to a career field in which African Americans and Hispanics are underrepresented.”

All recipients will be assigned to a LaSalle senior leader. The senior leader will provide mentorship and executive guidance to ease the students’ transition from the “introduction to the real estate profession.”

LaSalle is one of the world’s leading real estate investment firms. It manages approximately $65 billion in assets within the industry publicly and privately.

Many FAMU students are ecstatic about this program.

“We are very excited because this is significant and doesn’t happen every day. Students now have greater opportunities to network and achieve their goals in this industry,” said Andrew Lewis IV, a third-year business administration major and president of FAMU’s Real Estate and Leadership club the first HBCU real estate club. “We are thankful for the partnership between FAMU and LaSalle and look forward to continued growth.”

Lewis added: “This blessing has put so many more eyes on our illustrious university. I believe that this will also bring the club together more as a family, increase camaraderie, and remind us to stay prepared to strive for excellence. The opportunities are vast and abundant when proper preparation meets opportunity.”

LaSalle said in a news release that it intends to enhance the firm’s partnerships with other HBCUs and academic institutions across the nation and exemplify change by creating more well-paid employment opportunities for minorities in America.