CAU’s School of Business Administration to Host Business and Technology Industry Leaders

Atlanta, GA (April 18, 2023) – Clark Atlanta University’s (CAU) School of Business hosted John Hope Bryant for its first Entrepreneur Scholar-in-Residence, a fireside chat in partnership with PNC Bank. The event marked PNC’s launch of its National Center for Entrepreneurship. Bryant’s new post aims to help CAU serve as an incubator for developing the next generation of leaders at the Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Bryant is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, and the founder of Operation HOPE, the nation’s largest non-profit dedicated to financial literacy.

During his residency at CAU, Bryant will lead an ongoing speaker series on a range of topics, such as managing financial risk, negotiating deals, and the importance of FICO scores, among others. He is also a member of CAU’s Board of Trustees.

Bryant’s remarks included a historical review of The Freedman’s Bank and various HOPE programs, including Financial Literacy for All (FL4A) and One Million Black Businesses (1MBB). He asserts that Black entrepreneurs are key to transforming communities through ownership and improved financial wellness. The event was a celebration of the shared commitment to advancing Black entrepreneurship and brought together nearly 100 students, alumni, business experts, and community leaders. PNC has been a HOPE strategic partner for almost a decade.

“When you are sitting in history, it doesn’t feel like it. This is one of those moments. Today, the right partners are at the table,” Bryant said. “We are at an inflection point that I call the ‘Third Reconstruction,’ and I look forward to engaging both PNC and CAU’s extraordinary students in a conversation about how they can change the world through entrepreneurship. By better understanding capitalism and learning the language of money, they will be equipped to shape the future of America.”

“For three decades, John Hope Bryant has been on the frontlines with a message of ‘Silver Rights.’ He is an experienced and successful businessman who has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping others build generational wealth,” said Dr. Sylvanus Udoka, Interim Provost and SVP for Academic Affairs, CAU. “We are confident that Mr. Bryant’s leadership, in partnership with PNC, will resonate with CAU students and unleash the power of entrepreneurship.” 

According to the US Small Business Administration, minority businesses account for over 50% of the 2 million new businesses started in the United States in the past ten years. Despite that growth, minority-business ownership represents only 18 percent of total U.S. businesses, and the businesses face huge disparities when it comes to access to capital, contracting opportunities, and other entrepreneurial development.


About Clark Atlanta University

Clark Atlanta University was formed with the consolidation of Atlanta University and Clark College, both of which hold unique places in the annals of African American history. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African Americans. Clark College, established four years later in 1869, was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African American student population. Today, with nearly 4,000 students, CAU is the largest of the four institutions (CAU, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Morehouse School of Medicine) that comprise the Atlanta University Center Consortium. It is also the largest of the 37-member UNCF institutions. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson; American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing “The Black National Anthem”; Ralph David Abernathy Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank

Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit

About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through its community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $3.2 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check-cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. Operation HOPE recently received its eighth consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability from the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: Join the conversation on social media at @operationhope.