Howard University and J.P. Morgan: A Shared Purpose

Howard University’s Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick still remembers the first time he met Jamie Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Frederick, an accomplished cancer surgeon, had recently been named president of the prestigious university in Washington, D.C., and Dimon came to campus in 2014 to give a speech. There was a luncheon afterward, but Dimon made a quick detour to talk with about 20 students.

That “quick detour” turned into a 90-minute conversation.

“He never showed up at the luncheon,” Frederick said. “I went back about an hour and a half later, and sure enough, he was still in the same room talking to those students.”

Dimon’s eagerness to spend time with students struck a chord with Frederick. And it showed that the two institutions share a common mission.

“We want to be with somebody who is going to manage our assets well, but they have to understand why we’re doing it,” said Frederick, who is retiring as president later this year. “It’s not just about numbers; it’s about people.”

Text on screen: J.P. Morgan presents Future Builders.

Logo: Howard University. 1867.

On screen: This video opens at the campus of Howard University, a historically Black research university in Washington, D.C. A montage shows students attending a graduation ceremony and studying in a campus li-brary. Then, a bald man with brown eyes, Wayne A.I. Frederick, speaks from a spacious reading room.

Text on screen: Wayne A.I. Frederick, M.D., MBA; Charles R. Drew Professor of Surgery; 17th President, Howard University.

Dr. Frederick: Howard University is very unique. Our DNA is social justice. But if the principals are wrong, why does the university exist? It was primarily to support the movement of formerly enslaved people from the South to the North, to give them a place to be educated. And throughout our history, we’ve provided that for many different types of people. In my role as President, living up to Howard’s values requires a lot of discipline. The first discipline is to not take ownership, but to recognize that what's important is our stewardship.

On screen: A man with silver hair and light eyes, Jamie Dimon, speaks from an of-fice with wall-sized windows overlooking Manhattan.

Text on screen: Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Jamie Dimon: It's been an institution for 150 years. It's got an unbelievable reputation across all fields: medical, science, etc. Sets an example for everybody and it uplifts part of the communities be uplifted. 

On screen: A montage shows Howard University students working with laboratory equipment and singing in a community choir. Then, a woman with brown eyes and long black hair, Tashni-Ann Dubroy, speaks from an auditorium.

Text on screen: Tashni-Ann Dubroy, Ph.D., MBA, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Howard University.

Tashni-Ann Dubroy: On a college campus, there're various types of stakeholders. You’ve got students, alumni, faculty staff, and the board of trustees. And at times, their needs conflict with each other.

On screen: Two Howard University students study together, sitting on an outdoor bench. Dr. Frederick speaks to a group of students in a lecture hall.

Tashni-Ann Dubroy: It was very clear that we could change the landscape for Howard and create a stronger infrastructure from a financial, operational, academic, and research perspective.

On screen: Howard University students smile, sitting in a classroom. Dr. Frederick walks up a wide staircase at the Howard University School of Business. 

Dr. Frederick: We were in some significant financial dire straits. We needed a line of credit, which I was drawing on actively to make payroll and do things like that. 

On screen: A montage from Howard University shows a clock tower on campus and Dr. Dubroy walking through the Business School with a J.P. Morgan executive.

Tashni-Ann Dubroy: Initially, we were not banking with J.P. Morgan as our primary bank. And I remember going with Dr. Frederick to other banks describing to them why it is that we needed the investment when times were tough, and how it is that we wanted them to stick with us because we knew that the better tomorrow was coming. 

On screen: A bald man with hazel eyes, Kyle Williams, speaks from a reading room with a large globe on a wooden base.

Text on screen: Kyle Williams, Head of Mid-Atlantic Healthcare, Higher Education and Nonprofit at J.P. Morgan.

Kyle Williams: We both understood that there was an obligation between our two institutions to do more in the African American community. 

On screen: A video clip shows Mr. Williams greeting Dr. Frederick inside the Howard University School of Business.

Kyle Williams: Dr. Frederick has been very interested in how he can uplift Howard. He’s a change agent. He had wanted to be able to enhance Howard's reputation from building out the campus, attracting more students, addressing health equity issues.

On screen: A montage of Howard University shows construction workers laying bricks, four students hanging out together, and an American flag waving in the breeze outside the large Howard University Hospital.

Kyle Williams: And we extended credit that helped him address some of his capital expenditures and also cash flow, which is incredibly important to a large in-stitution like Howard University. 

On screen: A montage shows different areas of the Howard University campus, including a construction site, a spacious outdoor plaza, and The Founder's Library.

Dr. Frederick: Howard University has had some major accomplishments, some of which have been supported by the relationship with J.P. Morgan. One of them is simply securing money for the infrastructure, which will involve bringing above new buildings, renovations to all the buildings. And that has been absolutely critical to what we are going to do in the future. 

On screen: A road sign reads, "Construction Area Ahead." Men, wearing hardhats, work at the construction site. Outside of a large brick building, a sign reads, "Miner Teacher's College."

Kyle Williams: The Howard DNA is very much part and parcel of who we are at J.P. Morgan and that helps us better understand and appreciate what the focus points are. 

On screen: A montage shows Dr. Dubroy giving Mr. Williams a tour of the Howard University campus and students visiting an ATM at their local Chase branch.

Kyle Williams: He wanted a bank that understood the Black community, that understood Howard’s place in society. So when I say we wanna go beyond the balance sheet, it’s taking into consideration those sorts of issues and bringing to bare everything that J.P. Morgan can do outside of traditional commercial banking. J.P. Morgan helps our clients build their future.

On screen: Young women and men visit a Chase-sponsored outdoor information booth, which displays a large sign reading: "Hashtag Back To The Yard." A Chase business professional hands students material with useful banking and finance information.

Jamie Dimon: And Howard's been a critical part of educating us about what more we can do to create racial equality and give opportunity to people. It’s all part of one great fabric to do a better job for America. 

On screen: At a ribbon-cutting ceremony, men and women applaud after Dr. Frederick cuts a large ribbon bearing the Chase logo.

Tashni-Ann Dubroy: Howard University will continue to achieve excellence in every facet of what we do, especially in academics and research. J.P. Morgan is gonna be with Howard University for a very long time. We have a symbiotic relationship that is producing results every single day. 

On screen: Young men and women wear robes, graduation collars, and honor stoles. Students sit by a large campus lawn. Two smiling young women, Howard University graduates, hold their diplomas.

Logo: J.P. Morgan.

Text on screen:

Side note: Legal disclosures appear.

Text on screen: Chase, J.P. Morgan, JPMorgan, JPMorgan Chase, and Story by J.P. Morgan are marketing names for certain businesses of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and its affiliates and subsidiaries worldwide (collectively, “JPMC”, “We”, “Our” or “Us”, as the context may require).

The material contained in this video is intended as general market commentary and does not constitute legal, tax, investment, accounting, financial, business, real estate, or any other advice, and should not be relied upon as such. The views, opinions, estimates and strategies ex-pressed in this video are those of JPMC, or other featured speakers, and may differ from those of Commercial Banking or other JPMC employees and affiliates. This video in no way constitutes an offer or commitment to provide a particular product or service. Products and services offered by JPMC and its affiliates are subject to applicable laws and regulations, as well as our service terms and policies. Not all products and services are available in all geographic areas or to all customers. Credit is subject to approval. Rates and programs are subject to change; certain restrictions apply.

This content does not constitute J.P. Morgan research and should not be treated as such. Any views expressed are often based on current market conditions and are subject to change without notice. Any statistics referenced have been obtained from external sources deemed to be reliable, but we do not guarantee their accuracy or completeness. In no event shall JPMorgan Chase nor any of its directors, officers, employees or agents be liable for any use of, for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon, or for any inaccuracies or errors in or omissions from, the information in this video.

Copyright JPMorgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Deposits held in non-U.S. branches, are not FDIC insured.


Going beyond the transactional

A decade ago, Howard found itself in a worrisome financial position. Revenue from Howard University Hospital and student tuition was shrinking. Financial aid costs were rising as government appropriations fell. And aging campus infrastructure needed updating.

Frederick approached J.P. Morgan with a list of requests, including access to credit. 

Even before it became the school’s primary banking provider in 2021, J.P. Morgan extended $100 million in credit to Howard, which the university used to help make payroll and keep the campus running. 

As part of its Howard Forward strategic plan, the university is focused on improving efficiencies and achieving financial stability. Howard worked with J.P. Morgan to streamline payroll and optimize working capital, freeing resources the university can use to advance its educational mission.

An all-in approach

In addition to streamlining operations, J.P. Morgan has worked with Howard on several fronts:

  • Advising the university as it develops a modern, 600,000-square-foot facility with 225 beds and a Level 1 trauma center.
  • Helping Howard maximize its real estate assets; the school estimates that its leased properties will generate about $145 million toward its $785 million capital plan.
  • Growing the university’s endowment, the largest among all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
  • Providing cybersecurity guidance to help protect Howard from fraud attacks.
  • Helping Howard access public markets; the firm’s Higher Education Public Finance team served as lead underwriter on a $300 million bond deal, part of a push to revitalize the campus.
  • Placing a branch on Howard’s campus where students can participate in financial education sessions.
  • Engaging through initiatives like Advancing Black Pathways and Morgan Health.
Kyle Williams, Head of Mid-Atlantic Healthcare, Higher Education and Nonprofit Commercial Banking at J.P. Morgan, said the relationship between the firm and Howard goes “beyond the balance sheet.” It’s based on a shared sense of purpose, an alignment with the school’s strategic plan and an appreciation for its impact within the community.

Williams said Howard was looking for a bank that could address all of its needs. This included financial solutions ranging from treasury to credit, and also programs such as Advancing Black Pathways and Morgan Health—two initiatives that amplify Howard’s mission of social justice.

“Those are things that … do positively impact the balance sheet but ultimately are beyond traditional revenue enhancement,” Williams said. 

The relationship extends to helping Howard strengthen its hospital, grow its endowment, connect more deeply with alumni and build a future. These steps can help Howard extend more scholarships to students, invest in its faculty and continue to generate economic opportunity.

“When we have any challenges at the university, Kyle starts asking questions before we even reach out to him for a solution,” said Dr. Tashni-Ann Dubroy, Howard’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “You realize your colleague is paying attention … and it matters. Banking should never be transactional. It has to be about relationship building, and J.P. Morgan has been able to demonstrate that.”

Focus on quality

University administrators across the country are staring down an enrollment cliff, said Stephen Graham, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Howard. The number of college-age students in the U.S. will drop sharply in the next few years, he said, and competition among schools for new students will grow more intense.

In this ultracompetitive environment, many universities can feel pressured to change their pricing strategies or admissions standards to meet their enrollment goals, Graham said. But not Howard.

“Our strategy is to focus on the quality of students we recruit and the quality of Howard’s brand,” he said. “Our mission tells the world that this is where students should go to really move themselves forward.”

The results so far? Record enrollments and the most selective freshmen classes in the school’s history.

“What we’ve done over the last few years has put us in a place that we can achieve all the goals we’ve set, including the redevelopment of the academic campuses and the building of a new hospital,” Graham said. “But we remain nimble enough to pivot as needed as anything changes in the landscape.”

Landmark leadership

Students and alumni affectionately call Howard “The Mecca.” The nickname honors the institution’s role as a leader among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), as well as its central position in Black business, politics and culture. 

Howard’s leadership team is keenly aware that its growth strategy inevitably sets a model for other HBCUs. “They’re listening to us, and they’re watching what Howard University does,” Dubroy said. “As we continue to be the landmark, we want to replicate it in academics and research, social responsibility, community building, community care.”

With $785 million in planned activity on campus, $300 million invested in public markets, a healthy hospital and positive momentum, Howard is well positioned today. And as Dr. Ben Vinson III takes over as the university’s new president in September, Howard is ready to remain a leader not only in Washington, D.C., but in the HBCU community, across the nation and around the world.

“What you’re doing is investing in the leadership and the promise of a better tomorrow,” Dubroy said. 

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. Visit for disclosures and disclaimers related to this content.