Newest Wells Fargo mural features historic images of Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, Spelman and Morris Brown

$145,000 gift will help Opportunity Funding Corporation create jobs, small businesses

ATLANTA (April 27, 2012) – Historic images of scenes and students at Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse, Spelman and Morris Brown colleges are featured in Wells Fargo’s indoor and outdoor mural unveiled today at its West End University bank store.

To commemorate the occasion, Wells Fargo presented the Opportunity Funding Corporation with a $145,000 grant to start a business incubator fund.

The fund will help create jobs and new businesses in the African-American community through support for promising enterprises of MBA graduates of historically black colleges and universities across the Southeast.

“We are so pleased to recognize the enormous contributions to the world of these great Atlanta institutions,” said Atlanta Regional President Mike Donnelly.  “And we’re proud to help business graduates of historically black institutions through this new fund for emerging businesses.”

The mural is the newest in Atlanta and among 50 already installed or shortly to be installed across the metro area.  It is among 1,800 in Wells Fargo bank stores across the nation.  Each is unique to the area in which the bank store is located, and was developed with the aid of local archives and historians.

Helping to dedicate the mural today were Dr. Robert Franklin, president of Morehouse, Dr. Stanley Pritchett, president of Morris Brown, and Atlanta City Council member Michael Julian Bond, son of Morehouse alumnus Julian Bond.  The elder Bond was one of the first African-Americans elected to the Georgia House of Representatives and after a 20-year legislative career became chairman of the NAACP.

“For 150 years we have helped to transform America through leaders such as Julian Bond,” Dr. Franklin said.  “We are thrilled that Wells Fargo has embraced our educational community in this way.”

“We are honored and proud that Wells Fargo has connected with the rich history of higher education in Atlanta,” said Dr. Pritchett.

“Project Launch” is OFC’s new business incubator fund

Representing the non-profit Opportunity Funding Corporation, whose mission is to promote African-American entrepreneurs and enterprises, was Bill Clement, chairman of the board.

“Through this we will inspire and create a more viable entrepreneur class and generate jobs in the African-American community,” Clement said.  “This will greatly expand what we are able to do.”

He explained that the idea for the fund arose from the OFC Venture Challenge, a business plan competition among MBA students from historically black colleges and universities across the Southeast.  Clark Atlanta University students were among those from 24 HBCU’s who took part in the just-completed annual competition in Atlanta.

The intent will be to help enterprises arising from highly ranked business plans.  Clement said he hopes the fund will grow with additional private support.

Helping to accept the check on behalf of Clark Atlanta University were a former dean of the business school, Prof. Ed Davis, and two students.

“This is an opportunity to actually turn these plans into businesses,” said Clark Atlanta graduate student Tversa Ricks, who took part in the recent competition.  “Investors always ask what funds can you add, so this will really help.

Added Jeffrey Muiru, another Clark Atlantat participant, “Business plans that otherwise wouldn’t be funded can now become reality.”

Murals create local connections

Among those providing images for the new mural were the Spelman College Photograph Collection, Morehouse College Archives, the Atlanta History Center and the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center.

Wells Fargo’s murals are a snapshot of turn-of the-century America, conveying  a sense of history, tradition, longevity, optimism and progress. Each mural creates a connection to the history of the surrounding area.

The West End University mural is13 feet wide and 7 feet tall and double-sided so it can be viewed inside and outside the store.  It has 18 images in all.

Its unveiling followed by a day the unveiling of a mural at the Atlantic Station store in the company’s headquarters building for its Southeast region.  That mural features images from across Atlanta, including a prominent photo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ambassador Andrew Young.

Other murals will be installed in the Edgewood and West End Lee locations, bringing the total across Georgia to 73.

“Our customers really enjoy our murals,” Donnelly said.  “They reinforce how local we really are.”

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) has almost 200 bank locations in Atlanta and 5,000 team members and serves every other household.  Wells Fargo is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 23 on Fortune’s 2011 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.
   



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