Harold Burson Donates $50,000 to The LAGRANT Foundation

Establishment of the Harold Burson Fellowship Program to developing future leaders in the public relations industry

By Katie Alvarez
Published on LatinoLA: April 27, 2011

Harold Burson Donates $50,000 to The LAGRANT Foundation

Harold Burson, founding chairman of Burson-Marsteller, personally donates $50,000 to The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF). The total donation amount will be distributed over the course of five years, from 2011 to 2015, with a donation of $10,000 per year.

With this personal contribution, TLF will create the "Harold Burson Fellowship Program." The Program will highlight Burson's achievements and contributions in public relations while simultaneously developing future leaders in the industry.

"I am strongly committed to diversity and I am happy to partner with The LAGRANT Foundation to encourage young people from diverse ethnic backgrounds to begin careers in public relations and make the industry as representative of society as possible," said Burson, who recently celebrated his 90th birthday in March.

This is a four-week program in which one graduate student is selected to participate. The program will take place in New York City with lodging accommodations and air travel provided (if the participant is not currently living in New York City). During the four weeks, the student will dedicate eight hours a day, Monday through Friday, to the program with assignments to complete each week. The intent is to be in all of the top markets such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, San Francisco, Atlanta and Dallas in the coming years.

Activities will include visits to public relations firms, corporations, and media companies as well as meetings with key public relations executives. The purpose of the visits is for the student to learn how each company operates and to meet with employees and executives. At the end of their fellowship, the student will submit a final presentation of what was learned and complete an evaluation form. The student will then be featured in TLF's annual newsletter, e-newsletter and website.

"Because of people like Harold Burson, TLF is able to diversify an industry that he and I are both so passionate about. He is truly an inspiration to aspiring public relations professionals everywhere and I cannot thank him enough for supporting TLF and for supporting my dream," said TLF Founder/Chairman, Kim Hunter.

Harold Burson has agreed to serve as the keynote speaker for The LAGRANT Foundation's 13th Anniversary Scholarship Reception and Awards Program where he will be recognized for this contribution to the Foundation. The event will be held on May 23, 2011 in New York City.

Burson-Marsteller has been a key supporter of The LAGRANT Foundation, donating at least $5,000 for more than three years and hosting career development workshops for students in the New York City, Miami and San Francisco offices. Additionally, Patrick Ford, Burson-Marsteller's current CEO for the North America region, served as a member of the Host Committee for TLF's Scholarship Recognition Reception and Awards Program in 2008, 2010 and is also on the 2011 Host Committee.

TLF is proud and honored to be a beneficiary of a pioneer and innovator in the public relations industry, Burson's support throughout the years has certainly advanced TLF's mission. And his participation in a TLF career development workshop several years ago was one to remember and has been deemed a long-time TLF favorite.

Thanks to Burson's commitment, TLF continues to strive toward achieving its mission of increasing ethnic minorities in advertising, marketing and public relations.

Donors who have contributed $5,000 or more to The LAGRANT Foundation in cash are:

Alcoa Foundation, Alloy, American Express, Amgen, APCO Worldwide, Avery Dennison, Bank of America, Harold Burson, Burson-Marsteller, Cargill, Castells & Asociados, CNN, Cohn & Wolfe, Council of Public Relations Firms, Draftfcb, Edison International, Fleishman-Hillard, GolinHarris, Guardian, Heyman Associates, Hill & Knowlton, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Ketchum, Macy's Foundation, MSLGROUP, NORDSTROM, Northwestern Mutual, Omnicom Group, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Prudential Financial, The Coca-Cola Company, Tyco Electronics, United Healthcare, Verizon, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, Waste Management, Weber Shandwick Worldwide, Wells Fargo.

The LAGRANT Foundation is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization whose mission is to increase the number of ethnic minorities in the fields of advertising, marketing and public relations by providing scholarships, career development workshops, internships, professional development and mentors to African American, Asian Pacific American, Native American/Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino undergraduate and graduate students. For more information, please visit

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