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Peyton Manning Endows 6 HBCU Scholarships

By Keisha J Kelley

September 14, 2020

Former NFL great and Louisiana native, Peyton Manning,has establised endowment scholarships for six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Manning, and his wife Ashley endowed the 4 scholarships in his home state of Louisiana and 2 in the state of Tennessee. The scholarships are endowed in the names of black athletes such as former Southern University's Harold Carmichael who played receiver the Philadelphia Eagles and a 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee, the late Wilma Rudolph, a sprinter and the first black woman to win three gold medals in the 1960 Olympics, at Tennessee State University, and Doug Williams, the first black quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl, of Grambling State University. The remaining three endowments went to Fisk University for the late Dr. Reavis L Mitchell Jr, Xavier University of Lousiana for Dr Norman Francis, the schools president from 1968-2015, and Dillard University for Dr Lomax, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund since 2004. Although Peyton wished to remain anonymous, Doug Williams, with his many connections including the ones at Grambling, made a call. He 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. Peyton is a Louisiana boy. I know he’s given to a lot of wonderful causes without publicity, but this was a most pleasant surprise for me.”

Carmichael told ESPN, “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.”

Manning declined to speak about his personal involvement with the scholarships but he did send this statement : “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.”

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