Morgan State University in Baltimore has announced a $5 million commitment from Calvin E. Tyler, Jr. and his wife, Tina, for an endowed scholarship fund.
The fund will provide ten need-based full-tuition scholarships a year for students who live in Baltimore, the Tylers' hometown. In 2002, the couple established the Calvin and Tina Tyler Scholarship Fund at the school with a $500,000 gift and contributed another $500,000 to the fund in 2005 and $1 million in 2008. Including their latest contribution, the $5 million commitment is the largest gift from an individual or couple in Morgan State's 149-year-history and is among the largest ever to any historically black college or university.
Tyler became the first person in his family to attend college when he enrolled at Morgan State in 1961 to study business administration. With a new family to support, however, he dropped out in 1963 and took a job as one of the first ten drivers at UPS, where he worked his way up through the company, eventually becoming senior vice president of operations and serving on its board.
"I think anyone who has had any success in life and has the ability to reach back and help others, this is the time for them to do it," said Tyler. "There are two major things I want to achieve [with the endowed scholarship fund]: number one, to see as many of our young people [as possible] graduate with a degree...and [for] more students to get a college degree and graduate debt-free."
"Calvin grew up in Baltimore not far from where the riots took place. He understands the financial circumstances of many of the young people in Baltimore who are just like him," Morgan State president David Wilson told the Washington Post. "Putting resources in place to ensure that those students can taste the magic of a college education is a game changer. He understands all too well."