[SOURCE] Basketball legend, Charles Barkley recently announced his intention to make a $1,000,000 gift to Morehouse College. In that same announcement he pledged similar support to Auburn University (his Alma Mater) and the Wounded Warrior project.
The gift to Morehouse will benefit the College’s burgeoning Journalism and Sports Program (JSP) that was initiated in 2007. Since its inception, this program has sent 31 of its students into the media workforce, while an additional 15 have earned master’s degrees in journalism or related fields, including six at Columbia University.
Currently, nearly 65% of professional football players and 80% of professional basketball players are black; yet only 6% of newspaper sports journalists are African American. In response to this phenomenon, JSP was conceived by veteran filmmaker and Morehouse alumnus Spike Lee and his friend, the late Ralph Wiley, one of the nation’s first African American sports columnists.
JSP’s Director, Ron Thomas, joyfully reacted to this surprise announcement. “We aim to produce the media’s next generation of image makers, from columnists to digital specialists, covering a wide variety of news and marketing positions,” said Thomas. “Charles Barkley has always been very generous to students in our Journalism and Sports Program on a personal level. I am thrilled that Charles has greatly extended his generosity by donating $1 million to address our growing needs.”
Morehouse President, John S. Wilson, Jr. offered a similar response. “We are profoundly grateful for this contribution, said Wilson. “ Beyond its immediate impact, we hope that it will catalyze additional strategic investments in this impressive program.”
Barkley made the announcement during a conference call for the American Century Championship’s celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe earlier this week. Full details of the gift are being still being worked out between Morehouse and Barkley.