NEW YORK (AP) The United Negro College Fund is planning to honor Denzel Washington and his wife at its 64th anniversary dinner in New York.

The actor and Pauletta Washington will receive the Frederick D. Patterson Award for helping historically black colleges and universities and helping minorities pay for education.

The award is named for a co-founder of the United Negro College Fund and former president of what is now Tuskegee University in Alabama.

The Oscar-winning Washington recently starred in and directed "The Great Debaters." The movie was inspired by a historically black college debate team that debated an all-white team at an Ivy League university during legal segregation in the 1930s.

The UNCF dinner will be held March 7 at a Manhattan hotel.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.