Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper and wife, Nicole.

Carolina Panthers and Charlotte’s Major League Soccer owner David Tepper and his wife, Nicole, are helping Johnson C. Smith University students return to school this fall.

School officials announced the couple’s $250,000 donation will establish the David and Nicole Tepper Scholarship at Charlotte’s historically Black university. With the virus disproportionately affecting communities of color, the scholarship will benefit up to 70 returning students experiencing financial hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This pandemic has put a lot of people in a tough spot, particularly students who are trying to complete their education and earn their degrees,” Tepper said. “This institution means a lot to this community, and we look forward to building on our relationship in the future.”

Nicole adds, “This is an important first step in our relationship with Johnson C. Smith. I’ve visited the university and met with President Armbrister. We want to make a difference.”

As higher education navigates the complexities of safely reopening campuses in a Covid reality, Armbrister says the donation will help prevent a decrease in enrollment.

“The continued success of historically Black universities, like JCSU, is at a critical point,” he said. “Partnerships like this are essential to sustaining HBCUs, which are educating the next generation of leaders in the workplace and in the community.”

Earlier this week, the Teppers made headlines after donating more than $567,000 to the University of South Carolina to create the Nicole and David Tepper Scholars Program in the university’s department of sport and entertainment management.

Along with the two sport franchises, Tepper is the founder and president of Appaloosa Management, L.P.

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  1. We need more people like them if the HBCU schools and the communities surrounding them are going to survive this virus.