Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has given $250,000 to fund scholarships at Johnson C. Smith University, the school announced Tuesday.
The money will go into a fund called The President’s Gap, which was established in 2012 to assist students whose financial aid packages do not cover tuition costs.
Charlotte real estate developer Cameron Harris, who is a JCSU trustee and part owner of the Panthers, helped secure the gift, the school said.
JCSU said the money will help provide education, internships and employment opportunities for students who otherwise might be shut out by lack of funds.
“When it comes to paying college tuition many families are left distressed, or have to leave their dreams behind altogether,” Richardson said in a statement released by the school. “Our hope is that this gift will help Johnson C. Smith University open doors for more families and continue to be a place that affects change in people through education.”
JCSU in recent weeks has come under scrutiny as one of its former trustees, Talmadge Fair, has sought publicly to have the school’s president, Ronald Carter, removed from office. Fair, a 1961 JCSU graduate and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Miami, has alleged that JCSU suffers from financial and administrative mismanagement.
In announcing Richardson’s gift, the school said the donation was “the latest example of the strong partnerships the University has built with key leaders in Charlotte and beyond.”
In June, Richardson gave $100,000 to the victims’ families in the Charleston church shooting, which left nine dead at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Richardson sent a letter to Bakari Sellers, a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives with the check attached.