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Emmy Award Winning Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph helps make Jackson State University Scholarship Fundraiser an Overwhelming Success

(Darek Ashley/University Communications)
Darek Ashley
(Darek Ashley/University Communications)

Sheryl Lee Ralph served as keynote speaker for the recent luncheon and helped Jackson State University significantly surpass its initial fundraising goal. The popular actress single-handedly raised just shy of 50,000 in her own impromptu effort the day of the event. Her efforts helped the school bring in just over 300,000, to more than double the original fundraising target of 150,000 dollars. JSU raised $254,000 through ticket sales, sponsorships and other efforts. The annual Jackson State University Scholarship Luncheon is one of the university’s premier fundraising events. The banquet helps raise funds for deserving students to get a college education. Ralph is a Tony Award nominee, an NAACP Image Award nominee, and an Independent Spirit Award-winner with an acclaimed career spanning over three decades. The Luncheon is named in honor of Mary E. Peoples, an outstanding educator and community leader. She is the wife of beloved JSU President Emeritus John A. Peoples.

Cynthia Milton has had a lifelong love for the arts, the art of communication and business. This multiple award winning journalist is a powerful voice in the state of Mississippi. Her rich warm voice has endeared her to thousands of listeners. She can be heard every morning serving as the local host of NPR's Morning Edition. She is also the host and producer of the Candid Conversations talk show, which won a first place award from the prestigious Mississippi Association of Broadcasters within its first six months of production. Ms. Milton has also been cited for awards by the Louisiana and Mississippi Associated Press organizations. In addition, Milton is an international Amazon best selling author having co-authored the anthology, Your Faith Will Make You Unstoppable with dynamic women leaders from across the globe. She is a founding member of the international business women's organization Women Collaborating Together, which works to support, encourage and mentor women across the globe. Ms. Milton doesn't just speak, she also is a professional singer. Milton has lent her vocal ability and acting skills to several independent film projects.