Morgan State University in Baltimore has announced a $15 million gift from alumnus Calvin E. Tyler, Jr. and his wife, Tina, in support of a scholarship program they established in 2002.
The gift — the largest private donation from an alumnus in university history and the largest of its kind to any historically Black college or university from an alum — will strengthen the Calvin and Tina Tyler Endowed Scholarship Fund, which the couple created with a $5 million gift in 2016. Originally limited to students from Baltimore, the need-based program will take advantage of the infusion of funds to expand eligibility to matriculating students from across the United States.
The first in his family to attend college, Tyler enrolled at Morgan State College in 1961 to study business administration but had to drop out for financial reasons. He subsequently landed a job as one of the first ten drivers in Baltimore for UPS and, over the years, worked his way up to senior vice president of operations before he retired in 1998 and joined the company's board. According to Morgan State, Tyler never lost sight of his humble beginnings and, with his wife, made a commitment to support those who, like him, encountered financial hardship and insecurity while pursuing a college degree.
"My wife and I have become keenly aware of the effect that the pandemic has had on a number of young people trying to get an education [and] we have the resources to help a lot of young people," said Tyler. "This is why we are increasing our commitment at Morgan; we want to have more full-tuition scholarships offered to young people so that they can graduate from college and enter the next stage of their life debt free."
"Endowed scholarships and other gifts have far-reaching implications for any institution, but for a public, urban university like Morgan, with students from a broad spectrum of academic, social, and economic backgrounds, the need is especially great," said Donna Howard, vice president for institutional advancement at Morgan State. "We are forever grateful to the Tylers for their unrelenting charity to alma mater. The impact of their generosity will have a prevailing effect fostering Morgan-made leaders for generations."