Ll Cool j to Host Thurgood Marshall College Fund's 26Th Annual Awards Gala

Washington, DC, Sept. 29, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Two-time Grammy® Award winner LL COOL J will come to Washington, DC in November to host Thurgood Marshall College Fund's (TMCF) 26th Annual Awards Gala, announced its President & CEO, Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. Over 1,500 "Who's Who" from the Washington, DC area and across the nation, will arrive to the historic Washington Hilton on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 to attend one of DC's premier black-tie galas.

LL COOL J to Host Thurgood Marshall College Fund's 26th Awards Gala

The Awards Gala - themed "Developing Minds ... Delivering Dreams" - celebrates the achievements of the country's foremost visionaries who have used their status to positively impact the lives of students attending publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs.) The lavish ballroom at the historic Washington Hilton will provide the ideal backdrop to host congressional members, international dignitaries, corporate and educational leaders, and celebrities.Proceeds from the event enable TMCF to continue its work as a critical link between students getting the most from their education and the opportunity to become part of a new generation of global leaders.

"We believe LL COOL J's three decades of entertainment industry dominance, along with his unwavering support of education and literacy for kids, makes him the perfect host for this year's Gala," said Taylor. "We are looking forward to an amazing evening as we celebrate those who have made a difference in education and the communities in which we live."

Entertainment Icon, LL COOL J, found great success crossing into multiple mediums as a recording artist, actor, author, NAACP Image Award winner, entrepreneur and philanthropist. More than 25 years since he first burst onto the scene, LL COOL J continues his vibrant, trailblazing career of music and acting; and, hosted the 54th Annual GRAMMY® Awards in 2012. A Def Jam Records flagship artist, LL COOL J was first introduced to the world in 1984 as a recording artist.

LL COOL J continues his music and acting career as an artist who has successfully transitioned to one of the consistently highest-rated shows on television. He currently stars in the CBS hit primetime drama series, "NCIS: LOS ANGELES," which returns for Season 6 on September 29, 2014. Lauded as one of the most successful show launches ever, becoming syndicated after only seven episodes, his performance on the show has garnered him a NAACP Image Award four years in a row, from 2011-2014, for his role of 'Special Agent Sam Hanna.'

"I strongly believe in education and literacy for kids, and, know first-hand the importance of giving back," says LL. "By creating a fair platform for all young people, we are giving them the best opportunity to go out into the world and achieve their dreams. I am truly honored and humbled to host the Thurgood Marshall College Fund's 26th Annual Awards Gala."

LL COOL J has always been an avid philanthropist involved in numerous causes including literacy for kids as well as music and arts programs in schools. Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, his charity "Jump & Ball" - which takes place every August in his hometown of Queens, New York - aims to give back to his local community by offering a five-week athletic and team building program dedicated to bringing wholesome fun to young people. He is also a member of the Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet which raises funds and awareness for initiatives tied to the organization.

"Every five seconds a student drops out of college usually because of money," continued Taylor. "The increased cost of college, along with stricter grant and loan payments, limits college access for thousands of students. For this reason, TMCF is gathering the nation's most influential people on November 12th in our nation's capital to celebrate HBCUs and raise money nearly 300,000 students who attend their institutions."

TMCF's Gala is the culminating event of its 14th Annual Leadership Institute, being held November 9-13, 2014 - also at the Washington Hilton, where over 60 Fortune 500 companies and government agencies will court 500 brightest selected HBCU students are will be in attendance. TMCF has proudly made Washington, DC its flagship home and the place WHERE EDUCATION PAYS OFF®. For more information on the Gala, please visit TMCF's website.

NOTE: Members of the working press who wish to cover this event will need to obtain press credentials. To obtain credentials, contact Tangie Newborn at tangie.newborn@tmcfund.org.



TMCF is named for the U.S. Supreme Court's first African-American Justice. Established in 1987, TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending its 47 member-schools that include publicly supportedHistorically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), medical schools and law schools. Through its scholarships and programs, TMCF plays a key role in preparing the leaders of tomorrow. For more information on TMCF, visit thurgoodmarshallcollegefund.org.

A photo accompanying this release is available at:

CONTACT: Tangie Newborn tangie.newborn@tmcfund.org 202-888-0039

Source:Thurgood Marshall College Fund