Thurgood Marshall College Fund's 26th Annual Awards Gala to Feature Award-Winning Songstress Regina Belle

Washington, DC, Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) will kick off its 26th Annual Awards Gala, Wednesday, November 12, 2014, in Washington, DC featuring Grammy® Award-winning Singer, Songwriter, and Actress Regina Belle.

The 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). Proceeds from the Gala will 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.

"I am very excited that Ms. Belle will be with us in November to celebrate our students," said TMCF President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. "Her award-winning song, "A Whole New World," will be the perfect sendoff to those graduating in May. We are looking forward to an incredible evening as we honor those who have made a difference in education and their communities."

Born in Englewood, NJ, Ms. Belle started her career in the 1980s and is most notable for her Grammy-Award winning duet with Peabo Bryson, "A Whole New World" for Disney's 1992 film,"Aladdin". The song was a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart; and, won a Grammy® in 1993 for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals as well as an Academy Award for Best Song.

At a young age, Belle began performing at Englewood's Mount Calvary Baptist Church. She was introduced to the Manhattans by New York radio DJ Vaughn Harper and began working as their opening act. She recorded the 1986 duet, "Where Did We Go Wrong," with the group, which helped to attract the attention of Columbia Record, where they eventually signed her to a record deal. Belle released her debut album, "All By Myself," in 1987, which included her first hits "So Many Tears" and "Show Me the Way." Her follow-up album, "Stay with Me," was then released in 1989.

In 2009, Belle suffered a brain tumor and underwent 2 surgeries that left her deaf in one ear. Belle's faith was tested and she stood on God's word that she would be healed. Now when Belle sings "God Is Good" she knows God as a healer. In June 2012, Belle released her Testimony album," HIGHER", which has a simple but powerful message from Belle - "l pray that each listener has an experience. My whole objective in doing this record is to bring people into the presence of God."

This year's Gala will be hosted by entertainment icon LL COOL J; and, will feature a special appearance by Orlando Dixon - R&B singer, songwriter, and contestant -- Season 4 of The Voice. Gala entertainment will be brought to you by Diageo.

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



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

CONTACT: Tangie Newborn 202-888-0039

Source:Thurgood Marshall College Fund