Chris Sumlin: The Making of a Dividend
Everyone knows UNCF’s motto: A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in. ® And almost everyone knows that when people contribute to UNCF, they are investing in better futures for our young people and, through their success, for all of us, and that UNCF-member HBCUs graduate more than 8,000 of these “dividends” every year.
But what does one of these "dividends" look like, close up and personal? The answer: like Chris Sumlin, a native of Columbus, Ohio, a 2017 graduate of UNCF-member HBCU Morehouse College, a graduate student at Boston University, and, although not yet 25, the author of two books.
“It was never my plan to be an author; it sort of just happened to me,” writes Sumlin, who blogs as thechrissumlin.com. He based his first book, Dealing With This Thing Called Life, after junior-year internships in Los Angeles at the BET Awards and Fox Studios. After graduating from Morehouse, he enrolled in graduate school at Boston University, pursuing a Masters of Science degree in Television Producing and Management. His first graduate school paper: an analysis of @KimKardashian and @KimKHollywood, which caught the eye of its subject, who tweeted her acknowledgment.
He wrote another book, Dealing With This Thing Called College. “We in America think that everyone just goes to college, but some people don’t know how,” Sumlin says. “So it’s important that there is literature out there in the world that shows people how you do it and how you do it right.”
Sumlin gives full credit for his early success to the education he received at Morehouse and the people he knew there. “American English fails me when I attempt to express what Morehouse meant to my development as a man,” he writes. “I have to give respect to Morehouse and the community that it fostered.”
So for everyone who has invested in UNCF and, through UNCF, in Morehouse and the 36 other UNCF HBCUs: Chris Sumlin—along with the 460,000 students who have graduated from UNCF HBCUS and gone on to careers of success and service—is the return on your investment. He’s your dividend.