Mays asks King to contribute $200 to Morehouse College through Dexter. King included a contribution of that amount in the church budget.
Reverend M. L. King, Jr.
Dexter Avenue Baptist Church
Dexter Avenue at Decatur Street
Dear Reverend King:
There are only two times a year we are permitted to solicit our alumni—Founder’s Day and Class Reunion at Commencement. The rest of the year we work and give to the United Negro College Fund from which Morehouse benefits mightily. This appeal is for Founder’s Day, February 18, 1955.
THERE IS A GREAT SCANDAL AT MOREHOUSE. IT IS THE MOREHOUSE GYMNASIUM. IT’S A SHAME! IT’S A DISGRACE! IT’S EMBARRASSING! IT NAUSEATES ME TO LOOK AT IT. IT OUGHT TO NAUSEATE YOU.
We are $200,000 short of what it takes to construct the New Physical Education and Health Building. We have $300,000 toward the new building, money we received from the United Negro College Fund. At best it will be two years before we get another $200,000 from the fund. The building will cost at least $500,000. If we can get $50,000 more the Trustees will let us begin building this Spring. Here is what you can do to help eliminate the Scandal and in addition help underwrite $10,000 of the $25,000 which we give in scholarships each year.
You are very new at Dexter and you may not be able to contribute anything by February 18, 1955. Look over the situation and see if you can contribute through your church $200.00 toward this project. If you cannot do it I will understand.
With kindest regards and best wishes, I am
Benjamin E. Mays
MLKP, MBU, Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers, 1954-1968, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, Boston University, Boston, Mass.