Five-time NBA Champion Earvin “Magic” Johnson will partner with SC State University to raise $2.5 million toward an endowed scholarship that will bear the global businessman’s name. Such a philanthropic effort is the first in the university’s history.
The Earvin “Magic” Johnson Endowed Scholarship Fund will support scholars working toward degrees from the SC State University School of Business.
“I am overjoyed by the opportunity to continue my commitment to higher education through my partnership with SC State University. Since visiting the university over a year ago, we have worked to develop meaningful ways to contribute to its success. This endowment will help continue the legacy of our nation’s historically black colleges and universities. I encourage all corporate and socially responsible citizens to support our HBCUs,” said Johnson, chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises.
More than a year ago, Johnson visited the Orangeburg campus and spoke before a crowd of several hundred during the weekly Executive Speaker Series sponsored by the School of Business. It was during that appearance that he committed to help strengthen the university’s firmly rooted land-grant mission of research, teaching, and service.
“We are certainly honored that Earvin is teaming up with SC State to assist in achieving what will be the university’s largest single philanthropic investment to date,” said Interim President Dr. W. Franklin Evans.
“His partnership not only marks a milestone in the university’s history, but this partnership will produce an indelible impact in the university’s legacy,” Evans continued.
The SC State University School of Business is recognized for being among the best schools of business in higher learning. It is among the top 5% in the world to receive the premier accrediting distinction by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The university announced further details about the scholarship at a special fundraising event on Sunday, June 12, in Washington, D.C., where Johnson made an important announcement about his partnership with SC State, the only state-assisted historically black university. Special guests included SC State alumnus Congressman James E. Clyburn, ’61, SC State University Board of Trustees Chairman Charles S. Way Sr., Interim President Dr. W. Franklin Evans, President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund Johnny C. Taylor Jr., and several alumni who are military general officers.
Graduates from the School of Business have earned graduate degrees from prestigious schools such as Harvard University, University of Virginia, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, University of South Carolina, Clemson University, College of Charleston, and the Hult International Business School in London. Upon earning their degrees from SC State, students gain employment at top companies and agencies including Boeing, BMW, Altria, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Microsoft, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Pfizer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Cigna, and TOMY International.
“The School of Business is beyond grateful for Mr. Johnson’s partnership. The Earvin “Magic” Johnson Endowed Scholarship will benefit our students, who are inspired by him and desire promising careers as entrepreneurs and forces to be reckoned with in the business world,” said Interim Dean of the School of Business Dr. Barbara Adams.
Johnson’s announcement comes on the heels of an unprecedented time in giving for the university. Overall private giving has increased more than 361% over last year, from $915,959 to $4.2 million. Additionally, alumni giving has increased 81%, from $437,275 to $972,304.
According to A.L. Fleming, associate vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the SC State University Foundation, the surge in contributions reflects an increase in public confidence in the university.
“More individuals and corporations are contributing to the university because they believe in the power of SC State University to transform lives and inspire greatness. Alumni recognize the lasting impact of the university in their professional and personal lives; and corporations—either by word of mouth or by witnessing the professional contributions of their employees with SC State degrees—know undoubtedly that SC State adds value to the workforce landscape,” said Fleming.
“I have no doubt that this established partnership will inspire more to begin investing or increasing their level of giving to SC State University,” continued Fleming.
Source: Black Enterprise