NFL legend and former quarterback Peyton Manning has made a financial commitment to HBCU students in Louisiana and Tennessee to set them up for success.
Recently, Manning shared that he and the Peyback Foundation — his 20-plus-year-old nonprofit for disadvantaged youth — established endowed scholarships for six HBCU schools. The recipients include Grambling State University, Southern University, Tennessee State, Fisk University, Xavier University of Louisiana, and Dillard University, ESPN reports.
Six HBCUs get endowed scholarships thanks to Peyton Manning. Scholarships honor legends from those universities.https://t.co/NlhWv7ykhb
— HBCU Gameday (@HBCUGameday) September 13, 2020
Manning grew up in Louisiana and attended the University of Tennessee during his undergraduate years, so he thought it was only right to gift scholarships to the two places fundamental to his growth.
According to Black Enterprise, Doug Williams — a senior vice president for the Washington Football Team and the first Black QB to win a Super Bowl — revealed Manning sent his generous HBCU donations anonymously.
“When I asked who did this, I was told the donor wished it to be anonymous,” Williams told ESPN. “Ha, you know I have my connections at Grambling. I made a phone call and found out it was Peyton Manning’s foundation and it was endowing a half-dozen scholarships at historically Black colleges and universities [HBCUs].”
According to Williams, Manning’s donation was a humble gesture.
“I know he’s given to a lot of wonderful causes without publicity, but this was a most pleasant surprise for me,” Williams said.
Black Enterprise reports Williams will have a scholarship named after him at his alma mater along with other historically Black influential figures such as track legend Wilma Rudolph, Hall of Fame wide receiver Harold Carmichael, current United Negro College Fund President Dr. Michael Lomax, and others.
While Manning hasn’t made a public statement about his recent donations, he sent a message to ESPN stating: “The Peyback Foundation is honored to partner with these six colleges to honor distinguished Alumni and staff members, and to help college students at these schools now and many years to come. Really, for perpetuity.”
According to ESPN, Williams believes Manning’s inspiring causes deserve to be highlighted more.
“I think Peyton needs to be recognized so we can expand the circle of potential donors out there for a great cause,” he said.
Hall of Famer, Harold Carmichael added to this statement sharing:
“I feel the same as Doug when it comes to what Peyton’s foundation is doing with HBCUs. It’s really an honor to have my name on that scholarship. I go back a long time with Archie, his dad. We played in a Pro Bowl together. I know this is not necessarily an athletic scholarship — HBCUs are much more than that — but when I played at Southern, all I got was $14 a month for laundry and there were times when even that money missed payments. An endowed scholarship with my name attached? I am really humbled and blessed.”
Even as his days on the field are behind him, Manning continues to be a leader for those who have helped him along with his career.