Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, has announced a $150 million endowment gift from alumnus, businessman, and former Carolina Panthers owner Jerome J. Richardson.
The largest gift in Wofford's 177-year history will support efforts in four areas: need-based financial aid; student and faculty research, internships, off-campus study and entrepreneurial learning opportunities; an initiative to transition all college support staff to a minimum wage of $15 per hour; and a capital improvements fund.
With the gift, Richardson and his wife, Rosalind Sallenger Richardson, have given a total of $262.6 million to the school — all but $5 million of which they have pledged since 2014. Previous gifts have supported fourteen capital projects — including the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium, the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts, and Jerome Johnson Richardson Hall, a residence hall that opened in the fall of 2020 — as well as the Richardson Family Scholarship, which provides a full four-year scholarship to an undergraduate student in each class. Richardson attended Wofford on a football scholarship and had a $30-a-month job as a resident assistant; he went on to play two seasons in the NFL before co-founding Spartan Food Systems with a Wofford teammate.
"Coming to Wofford in 1954 as an eighteen-year-old with a partial scholarship was a turning point in my life," said Richardson. "It is difficult to put into words how grateful I am for that opportunity and how proud I am of the tremendous progress the college has made since then. My hope is that many more young people will now be able to aim high regardless of their background or financial means."
(Photo credit: Wofford College)