**FILE** Peyton Manning speaks to attendees at the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual convention at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix. (Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons)
**FILE** Peyton Manning speaks to attendees at the American Farm Bureau Federation's annual convention at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix. (Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons)

Former NFL great Peyton Manning has established endowment scholarships at six historically Black colleges and universities.

The future Hall of Fame quarterback and his wife Ashley endowed four scholarships in Louisiana, his home state, and two in Tennessee, where Manning played at the University of Tennessee, through his Peyton Manning’s Peyback Foundation, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported.

The scholarships were endowed in the names of Black athletes such as Doug Williams, the first Black quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl, at Grambling State University and the late Wilma Rudolph, a sprinter who was the first woman to win three gold medals in the Olympics in 1960, at Tennessee State University.

“When I asked who did this, I was told the donor wished it to be anonymous,” Williams, now the senior vice president for the Washington Football Team, told ESPN. “Ha, you know I have my connections at Grambling. I made a phone call and found out it was Peyton Manning’s foundation and was endowing a half-dozen scholarships at historically Black colleges and universities.

“Peyton is a Louisiana boy,” Williams said. “I know he’s given to a lot of wonderful causes without publicity, but this was a most pleasant surprise for me.”

The other HBCU-endowed namesakes known for their historical contributions include:
• Southern University for Harold Carmichael, former Philadelphia Eagles receiver and 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.
• Fisk University for the late Dr. Reavis L. Mitchell Jr.
• Xavier University of Louisiana for Dr. Norman Francis, the school’s president from 1968 to 2015.
• Dillard University for Dr. Michael Lomax, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund since 2004.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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