Black college raises $600K for Trump inauguration appearance
© Getty
Donations on a GoFundMe page to pay for a trip to President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment MORE's inaugural parade for the marching band of the oldest private black college in the country eclipsed $600,000 on Tuesday.
 
More than $330,000 in donations poured in last Friday alone after Talladega College President Billy Hawkins appeared on' "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News last Thursday night.
 
In a Friday news conference, Hawkins said the response was "probably the single greatest fundraising effort" for the 150-year-old school. 
ADVERTISEMENT

"It's been phenomenal," Hawkins said. "And we've had several other individuals before this who were ready to make out a check." Hawkins said he hopes to engage those people in conversations about other fundraising efforts beyond the band trip.

The 225-member band originally applied to take part in the parade before the election, but experienced a major backlash on social media from those arguing a performance at the parade would be a tacit endorsement of Trump.
 
Hawkins told O'Reilly during his Thursday Fox appearance that he and his family have received death threats as a result of making the decision to allow the band to go to Washington to perform. 

“We owe Bill O’Reilly a great thank you. The GoFundMe account has skyrocketed,” Mr. Hawkins said. “The closer we get to Friday, the more excited I become. I’m so proud of our young people.”
 
For the first time in five presidential inaugurations, no Washington, D.C., marching band will perform in the presidential inauguration.

“I think everybody knows why and no one wants to say and lose their job,” Howard University band director John Newson told NBC-4 Washington.